Victory for clean air in Quiet Corner as company ends bid to build new gas plant in Killingly
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 22, 2018
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Connecticut Fund for the Environment and allies declared victory this week as NTE Connecticut, LLC withdrew its appeal of the Siting Council’s denial of its application to build a new gas power plant in an area of northeastern Connecticut already overburdened by air pollution.
The 550-megawatt facility, dubbed the Killingly Energy Center, would have been located on Lake Road in Killingly. NTE made the move after ISO-New England, which manages the region’s energy supply, found for a second year that the grid doesn’t need additional power from the proposed plant. The Connecticut Siting Council came to the same conclusion last spring.
“This is a win for the families of Killingly and for Connecticut’s energy future,” said Jack Looney, staff attorney for CFE. “The way forward isn’t building more fossil fuel plants in communities already struggling with asthma and air pollution, it’s looking carefully at our energy needs and meeting them with carefully-sited solar, wind, and efficiency projects that also improve grid resiliency and generate local job growth. We’re pleased that Killingly residents will be able to breathe easier and enjoy their green spaces. This is the outcome of good decisions by ISO-New England and the Siting Council.”
CFE, local citizen group Not Another Power Plant (NAPP), Sierra Club, and the Wyndham Land Trust all participated as parties in the proceeding before the Siting Council.
In May 2017 the Siting Council voted to deny without prejudice NTE Connecticut, LLC’s Application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need, on the grounds that NTE failed to demonstrate need for additional electric generation capacity and therefore could show no public benefit to building the plant. The Siting Council did not formally consider the environmental impact questions raised by CFE and other opponents because the first and necessary requirement, the public benefit of the facility, was not met.
Had it been built, the Killingly Energy Center would have been the second electric generation facility on Lake Road. The proposed site was 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.
In addition to NAPP’s mobilization of area residents, regional organization Community Action Works has supported local grassroots opposition.
“The ISO sent a clear message that more dirty energy in Killingly isn’t necessary,” said Mary Jones, community organizer with Community Action Works. “We’re pleased with the ISO’s evaluation of the Killingly plant because it confirms what community members have been saying for years: there is no reason residents should be exposed to the dangers of a pointless, polluting power plant.”
Laura McMillan, Connecticut Fund for the Environment