The East Bay Energy Consortium (EBEC) was founded in 2009 with the support of Roger Williams University (Bristol, RI) during the East Bay Leadership Summit. Member communities of EBEC are eight cities and towns along the East Bay of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay. EBEC is Barrington, East Providence, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth, Tiverton, and Warren. Each municipality signed through Resolution from its Town or City Council.
EBEC’s goal is to develop a regional wind energy system that will produce a sufficient quantity of electricity equivalent to the total municipal load of our members. We will take advantage of state legislation favoring municipally-owned renewable energy projects, and exploit the economic leverage accruing from building a multi-turbine installation for the benefit of multiple communities.
EBEC is breaking new ground in planning a collaborative renewable energy project.
With the strong financial support of the RI Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) and the Rhode Island Foundation we have undertaken two phases of detailed feasibility studies. Our engineering contractor Applied Science Associates, Inc. of South Kingstown, RI conducted these studies, identifying a site in Tiverton that is suitable for the project, on land owned by the Town of Tiverton and two water and fire districts. Preliminary wind data is promising.
We are now in the pre-construction phase. In August 2011 EBEC erected a met tower on site, and we anticipate collecting date through much of 2013. Accurate wind data is required for financing.
The eight East Bay communities each signed a Memorandum of Agreement to provide representatives to the Consortium, and pledged either cash or in-kind donations. Roger Williams University provided significant logistical support by hosting meetings, offering staff and faculty expertise, and assisting with grant applications. Member communities appointed up to four representatives to EBEC, with each community having one vote.