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Army Corps of Engineers seeking public comment on Invenergy’s proposed power plant



Invenergy and National Grid have filed a joint permit with the United States Army Corps of Engineers “to conduct work in waters of the United States in conjunction with constructing a transmission line, an energy center and upgrading a substation in the vicinity of Burrillville, Rhode Island.”

Invenergy is seeking to build a $1 billion fracked gas and diesel oil burning power plant in the midst of the irreplaceable forests of northwest Rhode Island.

This work is proposed in various waters and wetlands in which the mainstay of the project is located south of Wallum Lake Road (State Route 100) in Burrillville, Rhode Island,” says the Army Corps of Engineer in a press release.

Invenergy and National Grid “have jointly submitted a permit application to the Corps of Engineers pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The proposed project would consist of two major components, Invenergy’s proposed power plant and the Burrillville Interconnection Project. More specifically, the application proposes to construct an electric generating facility; construct a dedicated 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line interconnection known as the Burrillville Interconnection Project (BIP); and upgrade an existing substation known as the Sherman Road Switching Station.

The project would begin at the proposed site for the power plant and extend generally northeast to the Sherman Road Switching Station. Once constructed, the BIP would connect the proposed power plant to the existing New England electrical grid system. Invenergy would construct, own, and operate the proposed power plant, located adjacent to the existing Algonquin Compressor Station. Invenergy’s proposed power plant is a combined-cycle electric generating facility that would be located on a 67-acre site, south of Wallum Lake Road (state route in Burrillville). The 67-acre Invenergy site is a subset of a 730-acre site that is owned and operated by Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC.

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During construction, the proposed power plant would be accessed via a temporary access road that would be constructed off of Wallum Lake Road. Once operational, permanent access to the proposed power plant would be via an improved Algonquin Lane which also is located off of Wallum Lake Road.

The Army Corps of Engineers press release assumes a lot of things that have yet to be determined by Rhode Island’s Energy Facilities Siting Board, the tribunal that will ultimately decide on whether or not Invenergy’s proposed power plant will be licensed.

“The basic project purpose is to supply and deliver energy to market,” says the press release. “The overall project purpose is to supply and deliver energy to market to meet long-term electric supply demands within the Rhode Island and New England region. The proposed power plant would address the need for new electric capacity that has been and will be created by retirements of existing generators, including oil and coal fired generators, and the additional potential retirements of other generators in the New England market. The proposed power plant would improve the overall flexibility of the electric generation fleet, due to its fast start and high ramp rate capabilities, and would help support and compliment the addition of more renewable generation into the region. The BIP would be necessary to interconnect the proposed power plant to the New England electric system so that the electrical energy produced at the proposed power plant can be delivered to the end user market.

“The proposed project has been designed to avoid and minimize impacts to aquatic resources while bolstering the existing electrical infrastructure in the Rhode Island and New England region. To compensate for unavoidable impacts to aquatic resources, the applicant is currently proposing mitigation which includes land acquisition and preservation of:

  • an approximate 148-acre parcel of land known as the Sweet Hill Farm located off of Route 107 in Burrillville, Rhode Island, and;
  • two parcels (Alles) totaling approximately 150-acres of land located west of Round Top Road in Burrillville, Rhode Island.

The current mitigation plan reiterates the applicants’ commitment to restoration and stabilization of temporarily disturbed wetlands, construction staging areas and transmission line rights-of-way. The plan includes a description of project impacts, objectives, mitigation site selection procedures, site protection information, and monitoring standards in addition to all required graphics and information.

The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps in compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in United States waters, including wetlands. The public notice, with more specifics on the work proposed by Invenergy and National Grid can be viewed on the Corps website here.

Public comments on this work proposed by Invenergy and National Grid (file # NAE-2016-00505) should be forwarded no later than July 3, 2019 to:

United States Army Corps of Engineers, New England District
Regulatory Division
(ATTN: Alex Kostra)
696 Virginia Road
Concord, MA 01742-2751

Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Alex Kostra at 978-318-8651 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to:

From a press release.

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