Invenergy’s July 12 press release saying that “survey work will begin in early August” for the proposed interconnection line is “an obvious effort at misdirection,” says Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) Senior Attorney Jerry Elmer.
“Invenergy is trying to persuade the public that its star-crossed power plant is moving ahead on schedule when it obviously isn’t,” continued Elmer. “What Invenergy needs for the interconnection line is a right-of-way agreement with National Grid, not soil samples. But on January 29, 2018, Invenergy informed the Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSB) that it has no right-of-way agreement with National Grid – not even a draft agreement (and Invenergy has not updated those statements since January). Most developers would have had a right-of-way agreement long ago, and the fact that Invenergy doesn’t shows how seriously behind schedule this project is.”
Invenergy is the company that wants to build a $1 billion fracked gas and diesel oil burning power plant in the pristine forests of northwest Rhode Island. CLF and the Town of Burrillville oppose the power plant, as does a large majority of Rhode Island’s cities and towns. The EFSB hearings on Invenergy’s proposed power plant are set to resume Thursday, July 19 at 9:30am in Hearing Room A of the Public Utilities Commission office building, 89 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, Rhode Island.
Invenergy’s press release reads, in part:
Survey work will begin in early August as part of the pre-engineering on the electric transmission line route for the Clear River Energy Center.
National Grid will coordinate an Invenergy contractor who will conduct soil tests and sampling in the existing right-of-way that travels from the Burrillville site of the proposed Clear River Energy Center, off Wallum Lake Road, to the existing National Grid switching station on Sherman Road. The survey work will help engineers assess the soil and rock along the 6.8-mile route as they plan where to locate transmission structures.
The survey work is expected to take between four to six weeks. All of the survey work will be performed on private land and in accordance with environmental permits and best practices.
Meanwhile, the Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board is set to resume final permitting hearings next week on Invenergy’s proposal to build the 1,000-megawatt Clear River Energy Center.
The project is expected to begin operations in 2021.
“Timing matters,” said Elmer, in his response. “First, Invenergy promised the EFSB and the ISO (the entity that runs the New England electricity grid) that the plant would be up and running on June 1, 2019. That wasn’t true. Next, Invenergy promised the EFSB and the ISO that the plant would be operational on June 1, 2020. Wrong again! Now, Invenergy is claiming that it will be in service on June 1, 2021, but that is clearly impossible. It is impossible for legal reasons, because (unless the EFSB denies Invenergy’s permit application) the appeals of any EFSB permit will run well into 2019. It is also impossible for engineering reasons, because of the time it would take to build the plant and the interconnection.”
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Though Invenergy’s press release says it “will conduct soil tests” for the interconnection line, Elmer says, “That is just silly. Invenergy needs is a right-of-way agreement with National Grid, but Invenergy has admitted to the EFSB that it doesn’t have that. Invenergy is trying to mislead the public into believing that its project is further along than it is.”
The final hearing stage itself continues throughout the late summer and fall of 2018. The EFSB has tentatively scheduled the final hearing to continue to the following dates:
July 19, 24 and 25
August 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23
September 4, 5, 6, 12, 18, 20, 26 and 27
October 10, 16, 17, 30 and 31
All sessions of the final hearing are scheduled to begin at 9:30am at Hearing Room A of the Public Utilities Commission office building, 89 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, Rhode Island unless posted otherwise. Hearings are open to the public but public comment will not be taken.
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