Siting board threatens to suspend review of power plant proposal

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

BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) — The board overseeing the proposal to build a gas-fired power plant in Burrillville has ordered the company behind the project to provide more information before their review can move forward.

According to Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board spokesperson Todd Bianco, Invenergy Thermal Development, LLC has failed to provide a cooling water source for the facility after the Pascoag Utility District took the proposed water supply off the table.

Board members voted unanimously to issue a “show cause” order to Invenergy requiring the company to make their case for why the proceedings should not be suspended.

The vote came during an open meeting Monday that was held in place of a public comment hearing at Burrillville High School.

The final hearing on the matter scheduled for Oct. 13, but that was postponed by the board. Instead, a hearing to allow Invenergy to present its case will be held at the offices of the Public Utilities Commission on Jefferson Boulevard in Warwick.

The siting board has the final say on whether the project can go forward.

Burrillville’s Town Council voted at a special meeting last month to oppose the Clear River Energy Center proposal, citing resistance from the public and reports from consultants that indicate the plant would have a negative impact on the community.

Invenergy says the facility it will create 300 jobs and bring in tax revenue to the town. Gov. Gina Raimondo is in favor of the plant.