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Sunday, April 28, 2019

Invenergy is dead and needs to be buried, once and for all

ISO New England is excluding Invenergy’s proposed power plant from its future power projections

In ISO New England‘s Chief Operating Officer Vamsi Chadalavada‘s March Report to the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL), there are two slides that seem to indicate that ISO New England believes that Invenergy’s $1 billion fracked gas and diesel oil burning power plant aimed at the irreplaceable forests of Burrillville, will never be built.

The slides seem to demonstrate that ISO New England believes that New England will be relying on ever increasing wind power and no new fossil fuel power plants for its future energy needs, including the power plant Invenergy is currently litigating for in Burrillville.

In slide 48 of the report, we see a list of all the new power plants ISO New England projects coming on line through 2025, and the power sources for all these new power plants.

For 2023, 2024, and 2025, there are no new gas plants coming online anywhere within New England, according to ISO New England’s slide. 

2023 is the date that Invenergy has been touting to the Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSB), to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and to the public as the year the proposed plant will be operational.

As the slide shows, ISO New England does not seem to believe that Invenergy’s fracked gas plant will be operational in 2023, the earliest possible on-line date, or in 2024 or 2025. Instead, 100 percent of the new power sources listed by ISO for the six New England states are wind.

Slide 49 shows the data for Rhode Island. Again, no new fracked gas power facilities are listed at all, for any year.

Further, as both slides demonstrate, New England will be generating more than enough power to keep the lights on, without the addition of new fossil fuel power plants needing to come online.

“This is very revealing information,” Conservation Law Foundation Senior Attorney Jerry Elmer told me. “It shows that it is the ISO’s perception, not just CLF’s perception, that Invenergy will never be built and will never be added to the ISO’s system.”

The context for ISO New England’s belief is important, said Elmer.

On September 20, 2018, the ISO involuntarily terminated Invenergy’s Capacity Supply Obligation (CSO) on its Turbine One. This was the first time in the history of the ISO that it has ever involuntarily terminated an entire CSO on any power plant

On September 28, 2018, the ISO disqualified Invenergy’s Turbine Two from even participating in the Forward Capacity Auction-13 (FCA-13), which the ISO conducted on February 4, 2019. 

That means that when the ISO ran the Forward Capacity Auction on February 4, 2019, there was no participation whatever from Invenergy – Invenergy was not even allowed to participate! Nevertheless, the ISO procured a surplus of capacity, with exactly no participation from Invenergy.

ISO New England’s view of Invenergy’s project, continues Elmer, is clear: “Invenergy won’t be built in 2023. Invenergy won’t be built ever. New England does not need Invenergy. The ISO doesn’t need or want Invenergy. As I have said many times before: Invenergy is a zombie. It is dead, but it may not know that fact yet, so it is still walking around.”

Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for half a decade.Uprise RI is his new project, and he's doing all he can to make it essential