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Invenergy: Not Ready for Prime Time!



Here is a mildly amusing sidelight to the Invenergy saga. Invenergy’s ham-fisted missteps might be funny if there were not so much at stake.

Invenergy seems to have a large number of “related entities” doing different parts of it power plant project. This is neither illegal nor unusual, but Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) wanted to know more about the cast of characters. So in December, CLF sent Invenergy a series of discovery requests asking which  legal entity is participating in the ISO’s capacity auctions, which entity has control of the Burrillville site for the plant, which entity is seeking a permit from the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB), and so forth. We were especially interested because the legal entity that Invenergy had litigating at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) apparently did not exist. Keep in mind that Invenergy has Crowell & Moring, a very, very expensive international law firm – offices in Washington, London, Los Angeles – handling its FERC litigation. On January 9, 2018, Invenergy answered our questions – Invenergy’s answers are the first three pages of the attached PDF.

One week later, on January 16, 2018, Invenergy’s big, very expensive international law firm Crowell & Moring filed a so-called “Erratum Letter” at FERC on behalf of Invenergy; the one paragraph letter admits to FERC that all of the law firm’s filings in the three separate lawsuits pending at FERC against Invenergy, had listed the name of its own client incorrectly! All of Invenergy’s filings at FERC had gone in under the name of “Clear River Energy Center LLC,” an entity that does not exist in Rhode Island, does not exist in Delaware, and does not exist anywhere in the world.

There is no such thing as “Clear River Energy Center LLC;” it does not exist. But that was how all the Invenergy filings at FERC had gone in across three separate lawsuits! The Crowell & Moring Erratum Letter, in its glorious entirety, is also on the attached PDF.

Crowell & Moring apparently could not get the name of its client right — until CLF was kind enough to clear the matter up for them.

Can we please ask a favor?

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Oh, and Crowell & Moring’s Erratum Letter had a mistake in the second word of the first sentence. It stated, “This errata is to inform . . . .” But the singular is “erratum.”  We say:  “This erratum is…”; but:  “these errata are…” The Crowell & Moring Erratum Letter announced exactly one mistake. But the law firm that could not get the name of its own client right could not get its Erratum Letter right, either.

Invenergy is not ready for prime time.

Jerry Elmer is a Senior Attorney in the Rhode Island Office of Conservation Law Foundation and the President of the Environment Council of Rhode Island. He is CLF’s lead attorney in the litigation against Invenergy in the R.I. Energy Facility Siting Board.