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RI - Decision on wind farm delayed over fisheries compensation

Rhode Island coastal regulators, at the request of Gov. Daniel McKee, are delaying a key decision on an offshore wind farm to give the project developers more time to reach a compensation deal with the fishing industry.

The Coastal Resources Management Council was expected to consider a federal consistency certification at its meeting Thursday for the proposed South Fork Wind Farm of up to 15 turbines in Rhode Island Sound, The Providence Journal reported Tuesday.

But with the possibility that the CRMC could recommend a denial of the certification, Orsted, the Danish company developing the project with utility Eversource, agreed to extend the deadline for a decision to June 1.

“We fully support the CRMC’s new timeline, as it allows for more dialogue and opportunity to work collectively to reach a fair mitigation agreement and advance this important offshore wind project,” Orsted spokesperson Meaghan Wims said.

The governor's office is watching negotiations closely.

“The governor’s office has asked the parties involved in the negotiations to take some additional time to attempt to reach a mutual agreement with respect to issues related to fisheries and offshore wind proposals,” McKee spokesperson Alana O’Hare said in an email.

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