Invenergy, the company proposing to build a power plant in Burrillville, offered Johnston the same 20-year water contract as it offered to Woonsocket, according to the company's development director. Johnston stands to earn more than $18 million dollars over 20 years.
Invenergy Development Director Niland said the company made an effort to reduce the project’s water demands by proposing to use technology that uses less water and produces less wastewater.
He said if the state approves the project, about three tanker trucks per week will deliver water from Johnston to the power plant in Pascoag.
“On average it’s about a little less than 16,000 gallons a day,” said Niland. “Maybe in the summer it could go up to a little over 18,000 gallons a day.”
Johnston buys its municipal water from the Providence water supply system.
The Providence Water Supply Board says wholesale customers, such as Johnston, may resell purchased water at their discretion with no restrictions.
But the supply board says it would take measures to place restrictions if a municipality ever used or purchased water quantities that stress Providence’s system.
Invenergy originally reached out to Johnston as a backup water supply for its project, but the company doesn’t actually have to secure one, said Niland, because the state Energy Facility Siting Board isn’t requiring it.
But, “there’s plenty of people that actually want to supply water to us,” said Niland. “I think you’d be surprised by how many phone calls we’ve gotten from people that would like to be able to do that.”
Niland declined to identify which municipalities or groups have expressed interest in selling water to Invenergy for its power plant.
“Our belief is that it’s still an important project, that there’s still a need out there,” said Niland.
The project has broad support from some of the state’s top leaders, including Gov. Gina Raimondo, and labor groups, while environmental groups and concerned residents oppose it. It's still pending state approval.