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As new testimony is filed with the EFSB, Invenergy is running out of arguments



Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) today filed additionally testimony from their expert witness Robert Fagan with the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) concerning Invenergy‘s proposed $1 billion fracked gas and diesel oil burning power plant aimed at the pristine forests of northwest Rhode Island.

The additional testimony is necessary because of the length of the proceedings, which are now entering their fourth year. Much has changed since the expert witnesses on all sides of the case entered their original testimony. [Note: Witness testimony in EFSB proceedings are submitted in writing before the start of formal hearings, and witnesses are cross-examined before the board during the hearings.]

In the past, Invenergy had two principal arguments that its proposed plant was needed:

(a) Invenergy had a Capacity Supply Obligation (CSO) from ISO-New England, the grid operator; and

(b) There was a PUC Advisory Opinion to the EFSB saying that the plant is needed.

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On September 20, ISO New England terminated Invenergy’s CSO over Invenergy’s strong objection. On October 31, the EFSB voted to reject the PUC Advisory Opinion in full, because the PUC Advisory Opinion was based on Invenergy having a CSO (which was no longer true).

As a result of these recent events, there is no evidence in the Record that this plant (or any plant) is needed – except for the testimony of Invenergy’s witness, Ryan Hardy.

The testimony filed by CLF today is Fagan’s fifth submission in the case. Much of it summarizes his earlier testimony, concluding that “there is no short-, medium-, or long-term reliability need for Invenergy’s proposed plant.”

In his new testimony, Fagan provides three additional pieces of newly available evidence for this conclusion:

(a) The ISO’s decision to terminate Invenergy’s CSO;

(b) The ISO’s decision that Invenergy could not participate in the next Forward Capacity Auction; and

(c) The ISO’s November 6, 2018 filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) showing that the ISO has more than enough electricity available without any contribution from Invenergy.

“ISO NE’s November 6 FERC Filing is powerful evidence that my prior testimony has been accurate all along: there is no short-, medium-, or long-term reliability need for Invenergy,” said Fagan in his testimony. “The ISO has more than enough qualified Resources – existing Resources and newly qualified Resources – going into FCA-13 to make for a robust auction, without Invenergy.”

Hearings are set to resume on January 8, 9, 16 and 17. These hearings will take up the issue of whether the power plant is needed. Invenergy’s expert witness, Ryan Hardy, will be cross-examined first. The years since Hardy first submitted his testimony have not been kind to him. Hardy’s testimony is full of predictions that have proven to be wrong:

Hardy predicted that Invenergy would clear both turbines in FCA-10, which it did not;

Hardy predicted that Invenergy would clear Turbine Two in FCA-11, which it did not;

Hardy predicted that Invenergy would clear Turbine Two in FCA-12, the very month that the ISO disqualified Invenergy’s Turbine Two from participating in FCA-12;

Hardy predicted that Invenergy would clear Turbine Two in FCA-13, but Turbine Two was again disqualified from FCA-13 and the CSO on Turbine One was terminated.

Hardy has also argued that Invenergy having a CSO means the plant is needed. Now that the CSO is gone, so is Hardy’s argument.

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