A wind turbine at Salty Brine State Beach brought down during Winter Storm Stella March 14 will be re-evaluated by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management before being replaced.
The 100-foot structure was destroyed when high winds sent it crashing down. It also crushed a covered observation platform.
“Because we’re a state agency, obviously we have to get three bids, we’re in the process of getting that,” Director of Parks and Recreation Robert Paquette said Thursday. “We’re hoping to have [the collapsed turbine] out by the beginning of next week, actually take it out and remove it from the location. We also have a contractor coming in to take down part of the shelter that’s broken and at least having the area cleaned up.”
It is expected that the shelter will be replaced by the beginning of summer. Paquette said he does not anticipating that cost to be more than $25,000-$30,000.
“We have some vendors going down next week to determine the cost of replacing the shelter,” he said.
The wind turbine, which cost $75,000, is a different story.
“The plan right now is to weigh many options, to see what our cost/benefit of actually having one at that location is,” Paquette said. “Obviously, as the Department of Environmental Management, we want to be good stewards to the environment and show renewable energy, but it also comes down to the cost benefit of even having it … Even though it was a great place to have a turbine for wind, we’re weighing those options now to see where the benefit was.”
One possibility would be to add solar panels to the top of the shelter in place of the turbine, Paquette said.