Newly planned 900 MW gas plant will help meet ISO-NE capacity concerns

Dive Brief:

  • Invenergy has announced plans to develop the 900-MW Clear River Energy Center in Burrillville, R.I., designed to help offset thousands of megawatts retiring in New England in the next several years.
  • The $700 million facility is estimated to save the state's ratepayers almost $300 million between 2019 and 2022, developers said, and will help the ISO New England to meet a capacity shortage forecasted for the Rhode Island zone.
  • Rhode Island consumers already pay the fifth highest electricity rates in the nation, and the region is anticipating shuttering 6,000 MW of older generation in the coming years.

Dive Insight:

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo announced the new project with Invenergy CEO Michael Polsky this week, touting the new facility for creating jobs and helping to manage the state's already-high electricity rates.

“The construction of this clean energy generation facility will create hundreds of jobs while delivering more affordable and reliable energy to our businesses and homes,” Raimondo said in a statement. “We are tackling our regional energy challenges, committing to cleaner energy systems in the long-term, and putting Rhode Islanders back to work."

Invenergy said it will invest more than $700 million in the new facility, which is expected to add $1.3 billion to Rhode Island's economy between 2016 and 2034. Facility construction would create more than 300 jobs for local workers, and once operational, would employ 25 permanent employees with total annual payroll of $3.5 million.

The plant will lower carbon dioxide emissions by more than 900,000 tons each year and will help integrate intermittent renewable technology, developers said, comparing the gas plant to a coal one. Invenergy wants to begin construction in the fourth quarter of next year, with commercial operations beginning in 2019.

Invenergy said it would propose connecting Clear River Energy Center to the New England ISO. Applications are currently being prepared for submission to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Energy Facility Siting Board, and the Town of Burrillville.

Recommended Reading:

  • Invenergy planning 900-MW natural gas-fired plant in Rhode Island SNLoffsite link

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