Conservation Law Foundation

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Energy Facility Siting Board has temporarily suspended its review of energy developer Invenergy’s application to build a power plant in Burrillville. That decision has disappointed the town, residents and environmental groups.  

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Here’s a rundown of what’s happening this week with the proposed Burrillville power plant:

Public comment hearing

The Energy Facility Siting Board holds a hearing Wednesday evening for public comment on the proposed power plant in Burrillville. The hearing will take place at Warwick's Toll Gate High School auditorium at 6 p.m.

Invenergy is scaling back the potential number of days it would run the proposed Burrillville power plant on oil as a backup.

This revised cap would reduce carbon emissions from the power plant by up to 30,000 tons each year, according to a company statement. Invenergy is amending its application with the state Energy Facility Siting Board.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling against a request by utilities to charge electricity users for expanding natural gas pipelines is already affecting a similar request in Rhode Island.

The Conservation Law Foundation filed a motion at the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission to dismiss National Grid’s proposal to secure gas contracts and recover costs for its Access Northeast Project.

The company proposing to build a natural gas-fired power plant in Burrillville is billing the project as a solution to alleviate future energy shortages and rising energy costs in New England. But two experts testifying on behalf of the Conservation Law Foundation filed written testimonies with the state’s Public Utilities Commission disputing those statements.


  A Brown University professor and a climate expert is adding his voice in opposition to a power plant proposed in Burrillville.

J. Timmons Roberts filed written testimony on behalf of the Conservation Law Foundation, one of several groups participating in hearings for the proposed power plant. Roberts said the plant will make it impossible for Rhode Island to meet emission reduction goals outlined in the state’s climate change law.

The Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board has approved four parties, known as "intervenors," to participate in hearings for the proposal to build a power plant in Burrillville.

Those parties include the state’s Office of Energy Resources, National Grid, the Conservation Law Foundation and the Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council.

The EFSB is charged with overseeing the siting process for major energy facilities in the state.

RIPR File Photo

Global leaders in Paris over the weekend approved a historic international agreement to slow the warming of the planet. Here at home, the Rhode Island federal delegation is praising the climate accord, calling it a victory for the planet and future generations. Local environmental advocates and climate change experts say they are proud of programs New England has initiated to reduce acid rain and carbon emissions from power plants. Now they’re hopeful the Paris Climate Pact will steer the region away from natural gas.

Aaron Read

Foreign ministers in Paris have a tough week ahead as they tackle the first draft of a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But local observers are still encouraged by positive signs in the climate negotiations.

Environmental advocates at the Conservation Law Foundation are trying to intervene in the effort to build a new natural gas-fired power plant in the state. Rhode Island Public Radio environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza explains.

Gubernatorial candidates Gina Raimondo and Allan Fung have agreed to do a limited number of joint appearances and televised debates before the general election.  A coalition of environmental groups is disappointed its invitation for a debate didn’t make the list.

New Englanders spent $5 billion in electricity last winter, compared to $5.2 billion for all of 2012. That's why each of the New England states has introduced legislation in their respective states to address the problem of rising electricity prices. But environmental advocacy groups are worried this regional collaboration would promote unnecessary natural gas projects.

RI Considers Burning Some Trash

Mar 20, 2013
Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation Front Entrance

The state has a long standing ban on incinerating trash. However a new bill introduced in the senate could allow the Central Landfill to look at incinerating some of the state’s trash.