Volunteers needed this Saturday!

For anyone who is local to Rhode Island, volunteers are needed!

The South County Wind Forum is bringing a field trip to the brand-spanking new wind turbine at Portsmouth High School.

The event will be snow or shine, at the high school at Education Lane in Portsmouth, RI. Wind Forum will be bringing busloads of people and People’s Power& Light wants to greet them with coffee, cocoa and-you guessed it-New England GreenStart brochures.

They need volunteers this Sat., Mar. 7, to:

  • Make cocoa and bring it hot in thermoses
  • Pick up coffee and muffins in Providence, bring to Portsmouth
  • Set up the coffee/cocoa tent on site at 12:30
  • Staff the coffee/cocoa tent on site from 1:30-2:30 pm
  • Work the crowd

If you can’t come Saturday, you can help get the word out, feel free to distribute press release: “Anyone Can Support the Portsmouth Wind Turbine.” (Press release can be found after the jump)

Carpool! If someone wants to organize carpools, that would be great, too.

They ask that you let them know ASAP if you are available: karina@ripower.org or (401) 632-0988. Day of, use the cell: (401) 497-5968.

For Immediate Release





Contact: Karina Lutz (401) 632-0988

Deputy Director cell: (401) 497-5968


Anyone Can Support the New Portsmouth Windmill

Rhode Island-Anyone can support the Town of Portsmouth’s new wind turbine through People’s Power & Light (PP&L). PP&L is a nonprofit dedicated to sustainable energy, which provides two “green power” products to allow residential and commercial electricity consumers to support local, renewable energy developments, including the new turbine.

For National Grid customers, the utility’s “GreenUp” program gives residential and small commercial customers the choice to switch to green power right on their utility bill. The PP&L choice in is New England GreenStart . PP&L also provides an off-bill choice called New England Wind Fund, which is also supporting the Portsmouth project. The Wind Fund is the option that works for larger energy users and people who don’t pay their own utility bills, or for a one-time donation.

Normally, most of Rhode Islanders’ electricity comes from burning fossil fuels & nuclear power, but when they sign up for GreenStart, People’s Power & Light ensures that an amount equal to their electric usage comes onto the New England electric grid from renewable sources. From the customer’s point of view, it couldn’t be easier. They still pay one bill to National Grid for both the electricity and the extra charge to green it up-2.4 cents per kilowatthour, or about $12 for the average residential customer. Then National Grid passes the GreenUp portion on to PP&L so that PP&L can pay that premium to renewable energy generators. Besides wind power, New England GreenStart’s product mix includes solar, landfill gas, and small hydroelectric power, all sited in New England and mostly in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

New England Wind Fund donations go into an escrowed fund, and are dedicated to supporting 100% new wind power at some point within 10 years of the donation. There is currently more than $800,000 in the fund, which is being used as security for the Portsmouth contract.

Switching to green power is as easy as flipping a switch. “Building this wind turbine wasn’t quite as easy, but our green power members helped make the project economically feasible,” said PP&L Deputy Director Karina Lutz. As they buy green power, their payment will help the Town of Portsmouth to pay off the debt they incurred to buy and install the turbine. The electricity itself will reduce the town’s electric bills as well.

A wind power generator today would have trouble competing on the open market without that premium, not because over its lifetime the wind power will be more expensive, but because a wind turbine’s costs are up front, with few operating costs and no fuel costs. In contrast, a gas-fired power plant pays for its fuel-its biggest cost-as it goes.

To sign up for New England GreenStart, customers can use www.ripower.org , or call (401)861-6111 or toll-free (800) 287-3950.


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