Burrillville Town Council votes to oppose proposed power plant

Invenergy Burrillville RI power plant rendering crop_261049

BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Burrillville Town Council has voted to oppose the construction of a natural gas power plant in the town.

The panel held a special meeting Thursday night to discuss the proposed $700 million Clear River Energy Center.

A spokesperson for the council said the vote took into account feedback from residents and opinions from non-biased consultants who studied the potential impacts on the town.

“It is clear from the extensive reports we have received from our consultants, and from the strong concern expressed by residents, that Burrillville is not an appropriate site for this new Invenergy power plant,” Council President John Pacheco said in a statement. “There is no question this plant would have a severe and negative impact on the quality of life here in our rural community.”

The company aiming to build the plant, Invenergy, said it would create 300 jobs and bring major tax revenue to town. The project has the backing of Gov. Gina Raimondo, but has been met with resistance from residents.

Pacheco will present the town’s position to the Energy Facility Siting Board, who will be making the final decision on the proposed plant.

Should the siting board ultimately approve the plant’s construction, the spokesperson said the town has the authority to demand financial compensation.

The siting board held a public hearing Wednesday night, during which a majority of the attendees spoke out against the proposal.

The town council will hold another public meeting next Monday.

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