Invenergy Ends Water Deal With Narragansett Indian Tribe

Jan 22, 2018

Invenergy, a power company that wants to build a natural gas-fired power plant in northwestern Rhode Island, has terminated its water supply agreement with the Narragansett Indian Tribe. 

Invenergy made an agreement with the tribe in September to serve as a backup water source to cool the power plant as needed. The tribe agreed to provide water from a water supply system on tribal land. 

John Brown, medicine man for the tribe, said in a statement back in September that the agreement would provide the Narragansetts with much-needed revenue. 

However, this past Friday, Brown sent a letter to Invenergy requesting the agreement be canceled because of growing "turmoil" within the tribe.

Members of the tribe and power plant opponents from the grassroots organization, No New Power Plant, protested the water deal back in October during a march in Providence claiming it was made without a vote from the tribal council, which they said violates the tribe's constitution. 

Invenergy currently has a contract with the Town of Johnston to serve as the primary water supplier for the power plant and has agreed to pay the town $18 million over the next 20 years. 

The Conservation Law Foundation, an environmental advocacy group, has a pending lawsuit in Rhode Island Superior Court against Invenergy's contract with Johnston claiming it's illegal.