The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) today filed a Motion to Dismiss with the Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSB) against “the application of Invenergy for a permit to build a new 900-megawatt (MW) fossil-fuel power plant in Burrillville, Rhode Island.”
In a blog post, Jerry Elmer, Senior Attorney at CLF in Providence said that the Motion “relies in part on the provisions of the Resilient Rhode Island Act, enacted by the Rhode Island General Assembly in 2014… The Resilient Rhode Island Act declares that it is the public policy of Rhode Island to reduce annual statewide carbon emissions to 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, 45 percent by 2035, and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2040.”
This is the first time the Resilient Rhode Island Act has been used in this manner.
“Invenergy’s application to the EFSB,” says Elmer, “is incomplete because the application fails to address these requirements.” The Resilient Rhode Island Act “created the EFSB and the EFSB’s own rules require that permit applications must be complete when they are filed, and that incomplete applications will be rejected.”
Elmer says that Invenergy’s application is especially troubling because the company, “wants to build two separate on-site oil tanks of one million gallons each – and, after coal, oil is the dirtiest, most polluting fuel used in New England to generate electricity…” More ominously, “Invenergy fails to mention how it plans to control any of its unhealthy air pollution, let alone its climate-warming carbon emissions.”
The CLF also explains in its motion, “why Invenergy is trying to stampede the EFSB into a hurried decision based on an incomplete application.”
Invenergy made a decision to take on a so-called ‘Capacity Supply Obligation‘ (CSO) from New England’s regional grid operator, ISO-New England, before Invenergy had any of permits required to build its proposed plant. The CSO means that, by June 1, 2019, Invenergy’s plant must be up and running and ready to supply energy to the regional grid.
“If Invenergy does have its plant operational by June 1, 2019, Invenergy gets tens of millions of dollars a year from the ISO-run energy markets in so-called ‘capacity payments.’ If Invenergy does not have its plant operational by June 1, 2019, the company stands to forfeit tens of millions of dollars of bonding it put up with the ISO.
“Not all companies that build power plants in New England choose to do things in that order. But Invenergy did – and now Invenergy should be forced to live with the consequences of its own decision.”
In a press release, Elmer said, “Spending 700 million dollars on a fuel source our own laws are making obsolete is as foolish as it is futile. New England is on a path to be carbon-free by 2050, and we have a legal and moral responsibility to see it through.”
Elmer asks interested members of the public to contact their leaders in government, such as Governor Raimondo, Nicholas Mattiello and Teresa Paiva Weed and let them know that you are opposed to the build up of fossil fuel infrastructure in Rhode Island.