It seemed, for a time, that Deepwater Wind's proposal for turbines off the coast of Rhode Island - a small demonstration project near Block Island followed by a much larger array further out to sea - was living a charmed existence. It had the strong backing of a GOP governor and a Democratic legislature - and nothing like the well-financed, persistent opposition that has proved a major drag on the Cape Wind project off Massachusetts.
But an unexpected trip-up before an obscure state body, the Public Utilities Commission, cast Deepwater's project in doubt and forced the General Assembly to recast the law in a naked attempt to get the project through. That effort paid dividends today when the PUC, reconsidering the Block Island project under a new standard, signed off on it.
But the lawsuit threats are already being made. That charmed existence is not looking something-less-than these days. And Massachusetts' sad example - years and years of litigation - appears ever more relevant.