Burrillville power plant public hearing held Monday

A rendering of Invenergy's proposed power plant in Burrillville. (credit: Invenergy)

BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) — Burrillville residents got another chance Monday to make their opinions on a proposed power plant known.

The Energy Facility Sitting Board held a public hearing Monday night from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Burrillville High School.

The proposed natural gas plant has generated major backlash in the town. At the last public hearing, not one person spoke in favor of the plant.

The plant is called the Clear River Energy Center, and still needs approval from a state board. Invenergy plans to spend $700 million to build the facility, which it says will create 300 jobs, and bring major tax revenue to town.

“We didn’t build our home for that, we didn’t know it was going in and we’re not interested in having it there, so anything I can do to fight this power plant I’m going to do,” said Jaime Tessier.

“I grew up here with a healthy environment and I want it to stay that way,” said Jaylinn O’Rouke.

Realtor Jeremy Bailey said a mere proposal of a power plant is already impacting home sales.

“As a matter of a fact, anything over $150,000 right now within several miles of this power plant we can’t even sell,” Bailey said.

The project has the backing of Gov. Gina Raimondo, who believes it will help lower energy bills in the region.

An attorney representing the building trade said the proposal has other supporters, too.

“One of the reasons why you’re not hearing from them is because of the aggressive tactics of the opponents,” said Greg Mancini.

Ultimately, it is up to the board to determine if the power plant meets state requirements.

“I think if the power plant is not built in Burrillville, it will be built in a nearby town. So I think it’s going to happen anyways,” Mancini said.

The Burrillville Town Council has no say in whether the power plant is built in their community, and has not taken a formal position on the issue.

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