CEO Grybowski responds
The following is a response to a letter by Town Councilor Chris Warfel—
I have no interest in engaging in Councilman Warfel’s personal attacks or silly challenges. I’ll get right to the facts:
In his March 23 letter to the editor, Mr. Warfel claimed that Block Island won’t receive benefits of the Block Island Wind Farm because the wind doesn’t blow consistently during the summer. This claim is false.
First, we’ve worked with the nation’s leading engineers to develop a comprehensive wind resource study, the type that Councilman Warfel admits he hasn’t “had the time” to complete. This study, based on years of data collected on Block Island, showed that the Block Island Wind Farm will produce about 125,000 MWh (megawatt hours) per year. BIPCo uses about 20,000 MWh per year. During the summer months of June, July, August and September, our experts confirm that the Block Island Wind Farm will produce about 30,000 MWh — less than during the higher output winter months, but still far beyond the 10,000 MWh BIPCO is expected to use during that same time period. Yes, winds do lag from time to time, which is why we’ve routinely stated publicly that we estimate the wind farm will produce 90 percent of the Island’s summer energy needs. (The rest will be supplied by mainland power via the transmission line.)
Second, a contract between Deepwater Wind and BIPCo is not necessary for Block Island to receive the benefits of the wind farm and the transmission link to the mainland. As Councilman Warfel well knows, there is often a difference between physical energy flows and contractual energy flows, but balancing these differences is a common function of ISO-New England.
Let me explain: Power from the wind farm will be delivered to a new switchyard located at BIPCo. This means that the electrons generated by the wind farm will physically flow to BIPCo and provide over 90 percent of the actual energy used on Block Island. From a contractual perspective, National Grid will purchase power from Deepwater at that switchyard, under our long-term power purchase agreement. The presence of the transmission line will give BIPCo the option to contract for energy in the wholesale energy market, or with National Grid.
As always, we remain committed to continuing a civil and constructive discussion of this important project. If you’d like to learn more, please visit http://dwwind.com/block-island/ to review our wind resource report. The facts speak for themselves.
CEO, Deepwater Wind