Rhode Island's Attorney General Peter Kilmartin has announced his opposition to a natural gas power plant that has been proposed for the Town of Burrillville by a Chicago-based energy company called Invenergy.
"A great deal has changed since the Invenergy power plant was proposed, and there is growing evidence that the power plant is neither needed nor a positive for our economy or our environment," Kilmartin said in an emailed statement. "In our role as the environmental advocate for the State of Rhode Island, I believe this power plant is not in the best interest of the State, the taxpayers, or our natural resources."
Kilmartin said in his statement that solar power, which has nearly doubled in the time since the plant was proposed in 2015, has made the power plant unnecessary. He said "solar output now exceeds prior forecasts by an amount sufficient to nearly cover the power to be made available by the contested Invenergy plant."
Kilmartin added the power plant would exacerbate climate change and undermine Rhode Island’s ability to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals in the 2014 Resilient Rhode Island Act.
Kilmartin also claimed in his statement Invenergy recently revealed a change in how it plans to pay for a power transmission line associated with the plant.
"Invenergy is attempting to have electric ratepayers pick up the tab for the more than $100 million transmission power line costs that the company had previously promised to absorb itself. It’s a classic bait and switch and the ratepayers should not be on the hook for it," Kilmartin said.
Kilmartin plans to request permission from the state’s Superior Court to file an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit against Invenergy's water agreement with the Town of Johnston.
Invenergy declined to comment.