- Rhode Island regulators on Thursday denied Invenergy a key permit for its planned 900 MW gas-fired plant in Burrillville, putting the plant's future in jeopardy. The company can appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.
- The state's Energy Facility Siting Board concluded the plant was unnecessary after a day of hearings, though three days had been allotted to make a decision, according to the Providence Journal.
- Invenergy said it is considering its next move. The plant was proposed four years ago, but falling capacity prices in New England led some to doubt its viability.
Once the siting board finalizes an order, Invenergy will have 10 days to decide whether to appeal the rejection to the state's highest court.
"We will review the written decision and evaluate our options," Invenergy representative Beth Conley told Utility Dive.
Issuing an order could take the board a month or more, according to a Providence business news site, but plant opponents are celebrating now.
"This is a huge victory for Rhode Island and for the health of our communities," Conservation Law Foundation Senior Attorney Jerry Elmer said in a statement.
He called the project "reckless," and "proof that communities can stand up to big gas and win."
Invenergy proposed the Clear River Energy Center four years ago, and it was originally planned to be online this year. More recently, the company targeted 2023 to begin operating the plant, and has been making progress on that goal: in April, it had an important water agreement with the town of Johnston upheld by Rhode Island Superior Court.
But even before the siting board's decision, there had been some doubt about the plant's future. A recent report from ISO New England on future generation capacity did not include the plant, bolstering opponents' skepticism about its future. The April Participants Committee Report did not include any natural gas capacity from 2023 to 2025.
In 2015, the capacity auction cleared at more than $17.50/kW-month, its highest level ever. In February, ISO-NE said its 13th auction cleared 34.8 GW of capacity at a price of $3.80/kW-month.