Siting board suspends proceedings on power plant proposal

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

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) – The board overseeing the proposal to build a gas-fired power plant in Burrillville has called a halt to the proceedings.

According to Todd Bianco, spokesperson for the Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board, the decision to suspend proceedings for ninety days was made because the developer, Invenergy Thermal Development, LLC, has not addressed the lack of a water source for the proposed plant.

The Pascoag Utility District declined to provide water service for the facility, citing concerns regarding the amount of water the plant would use and possible contamination of the water supply because of the planned location of wells. The district wrote in a September letter to the Energy Facility Siting Board that the risks to the environment and public health were too great, and thus would not supply any water for the project.

The board had threatened to suspend the review earlier this month and did so at a meeting Wednesday.

Wednesday, the board ruled that “the absence of a water supply plan rendered the application incomplete,” and suspended proceedings.

The board ruled that Invenergy must provide a sixty-day status update regarding a water source for the plant.

Burrillville’s Town Council voted last month to oppose the proposal after public opposition to the power plant. Governor Raimondo has publicly supported the project, which Invenergy says will create 300 jobs and increase tax revenue in the town.