Living in Glocester I have the extreme misfortune of being right smack in the middle of 2 proposed power plants – the Clear River Center to the north in Burrillville and the Killingly Energy Center to the west in Connecticut. On Wednesday night I crossed the border to attend a hearing at the Killingly High School on proposed changes to a docket for another fracked gas power plant set to go online in March of 2022.
It was clear that the presenters representing NTE Energy took lessons from Invenergy, another propaganda show. The actors included Killingly Town Manager Sean Hendricks, Tetra Tech Vice President Lynn Gresock, NTE Energy Senior Vice President of Engineering, Development and Operations Chris Rega and NTE Energy Senior Vice President of Development Tim Eves. This was the fifth public meeting held trying to convince townspeople to want something they clearly did not.
Their original proposal was “rejected without prejudice” in May 2017 by the Connecticut Siting Council which allowed NTE Energy to refile their docket. Tonight’s meeting was to go over the “minor changes” of the plant – like moving tanks 35 feet and switching to a Mitsubishi combustion turbine vs what they were going to use. This new turbine will provide a 20 percent increase in output which NTE Energy believes would make the project more palatable project to ISO New England. If built, the plant will be a 650 MW state-of-the-art combined-cycle electric generating facility complete with a “very non-obtrusive” 150 foot stack.
As soon as the presentation started the fireworks started. Questions came from locals and those from Rhode Island. It was clear that the presenters were a little bit uncomfortable with the new voices – after all, they didn’t know us by name. Ammonia, noise and the ever popular evacuation plan were brought up. Answers were exactly what we would expect. We have to abide by all town ordinances… blah, blah, blah. I asked if there was a similar plant in operation and they with glee, said yes – in Middletown, Ohio. It has been in operation for less than one month.
Questions about air quality got two whole slides. Not sure how they could afford that, but they did. I guess all the marginally bad air quality that will be dispersed in Killingly is better than the really bad air quality in New Haven from the old oil plants, so people should be thrilled.
In between the unimpressive and hard to read slides there were the labor union folk speaking out in favor of the plant. All those jobs – all 25 of them and a whole 60 percent of the 25 will be local. And of course the 450 union construction jobs that will add “millions and millions” to the local economy.
All I can say is wash, rinse and repeat…