The Beginning of the End for Proposed Killingly Dirty Power Plant?
Sierra Club Connecticut members – alongside many ally organizations – have been opposed to the proposed 650 megawatt fossil fuel power plant in Killingly since it first appeared in 2016.
In November, opponents of the Killingly power plant got some encouraging news! ISO-New England (ISO-NE), the region’s power grid, sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requesting termination of its contract with the developer of the controversial dirty power plant. In the letter, ISO-NE seeks termination because the plant is not on schedule to produce electricity in time to meet the terms of the contract. ISO-NE asked FERC to approve the request within 60 days.
We thought this was big news and so did the local and energy trade press. Coverage of the story included these stories from CT Mirror, CT Examiner and Energy News Network:
Killingly power plant dealt a major setback as ISO-NE abandons plans
Plans for 650 MW Killingly Power Plant in Doubt as Delays Threaten Price Guarantee
New England grid wants to drop Killingly gas plant’s capacity contract
So many people and organizations have been involved in opposing the plant, and were happy to hear the news. Here is what local activists who have been opposing the plant had to say:
Earl McWilliams, a Killingly resident and member of No More Dirty Power in Killingly, said, “As in Rhode Island, in Connecticut we found that delaying them, defeated them. Early local opposition was key in both states.”
“The Killingly Energy Center is a bad idea for eastern Connecticut. It would increase the pollution in Killingly, a town with high asthma rates that already houses a fracked gas power plant. Its construction would make it impossible to meet Connecticut’s goals to address the climate crisis. The energy from this plant wouldn’t even be used in our state. For these reasons, people have been fighting construction of the power plant since it was first approved. Even though we were repeatedly told it was a ‘done deal,’ we fought on. With this news we are hopeful that it is the beginning of the end of the Killingly Energy Center and we can all focus on meeting our climate goals through energy efficiency programs and the development of renewable resources,” said Kate Donnelly, member of No More Dirty Power in Killingly.
“NAPP has been opposed to the power plant construction since 2016. We are happy with this decision by the ISO,” said Lois Latraverse, member of Not Another Power Plant.
Windham-Willimantic NAACP branch President Leah Ralls issued the following statement: "Our branch membership took a position against construction of the Killingly gas power plant with a resolution that passed by unanimous vote in April, 2021. Environmental racism and economic injustice can be defeated when we stand together and work toward development and construction of clean, renewable energy sources. Today's news of ISO New England's termination filing for KEC brings us closer to that outcome."
Willimantic B'nai Israel Rabbi Jeremy Schwartz, whose synagogue presented an outdoor event, "Stop The Plant; Save The Planet," in September that drew over 100 northeast Connecticut residents to Putnam, responded to the filing: "I'm grateful that our state and planet will be spared the harm and insult of this plant and for the work of so many people that helped to get to this point. Now there remains a lot of work to save ourselves and the planet from climate disaster."
FERC still must approve the request, and when they do, we can all celebrate together!
Samantha Dynowski is State Director of Sierra Club Connecticut.