PRESS RELEASE: Environmental groups file petition with Siting Council for proposed Killingly Energy Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 21, 2019

Contact: Melissa Schlag, mschlag@ctenvironment.org

Environmental groups file petition with Siting Council for proposed Killingly Energy Center

Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound, Not Another Power Plant, and Sierra Club question absence of greenhouse gas reduction plan

NEW HAVEN, Conn.— Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Sierra Club, and citizen group Not Another Power Plant have petitioned the Connecticut Siting Council to reconsider its decision to approve NTE Connecticut, LLC’s application for a new 650 megawatt dual-fuel electric power plant in Killingly while omitting the developer’s proposed greenhouse gas reduction plan for the facility. As presently permitted by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the Killing Energy Center (KEC) would be able to emit more than 2.2 million tons of carbon dioxide per year—5 percent of Connecticut’s total statewide greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors with no requirement to limit or reduce these emissions despite Connecticut’s aggressive goal of reducing statewide emissions 80 percent by 2050.

In 2017, NTE voluntarily submitted a greenhouse gas reduction plan to the DEEP that would ensure the facility’s emissions declined 80 percent by 2050 and dropped to zero thereafter, but the agency declined to include the plan in the air permit for KEC. This spring, NTE reaffirmed its willingness to have the plan be included as an enforceable condition of its siting certificate, but the Siting Council also declined to include the plan. The groups are now asking the Siting Council to rectify this omission and include the reduction plan as part of the KEC certificate.

“We are hopeful the Siting Council will add NTE’s own Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program to the siting certificate to reaffirm Connecticut’s strong commitment to the Global Warming Solutions Act,” said Katherine Fiedler, legal fellow, Connecticut Fund for the Environment. “We were frustrated with DEEP’s abdication of responsibility by failing to include a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program in the air permit, and are looking to the Siting Council to step forward, especially in light of NTE’s willingness to have the plan included as an enforceable condition of its siting certificate.”

“The authorization for a new fossil fuel power plant to emit 2 million tons of carbon dioxide each year despite the state law requiring 80% greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2050 is deeply troubling, and points to the need to evaluate and condition such proposals through the lens of our state’s climate goals,” said Samantha Dynowski, state director, Sierra Club Connecticut.

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Background

  • In 2017, the Siting Council denied NTE’s first application due to lack of need following KEC’s failure to clear in ISO-NE capacity auction.
  • In 2018, NTE withdrew a motion to reopen the docket after the facility failed to clear the auction a second time.
  • In January 2019, NTE moved to reopen the council’s decision and participated in the capacity auction a third time.
  • In February 2019, NTE was awarded a capacity supply obligation for seven years beginning in 2022. Due to the results of the auction, the Siting Council granted NTE’s motion to reopen confirming the existence of “changed conditions.”
  • The Siting Council approved a siting certificate for KEC on June 6.
  • The Siting Council has 25 days to answer the petition filing. Any appeal of these or other issues in the decision would take place 45 days from the denial of the petition or reconsideration by the Siting Council.
  • The proposed plant will be adjacent to the 32-acre Dunn Preserve owned and maintained by the Wyndham Land Trust, and the surrounding area is located in the Quinebaug and Shetucket Valley National Heritage Corridor, also called the Last Green Valley. The pipeline to power the plant will cross the Quinebaug River, Wyndham Land Trust property, the Airline Trail, Pomfret Audubon Society, and Bafflin Sanctuary.

Further background information is available upon request.


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