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Clear River Energy, LLC, Narragansett Electric seek Corps permit to build transmission line, energy center

Published June 4, 2019

CONCORD, Mass. – Clear River Energy, LLC, and the Narragansett Electric Company, doing business as National Grid, are seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the U.S. in conjunction with constructing a transmission line, an energy center and upgrading a substation in the vicinity of Burrillville, Rhode Island.


This work is proposed in various waters and wetlands in which the mainstay of the project is located south of Wallum Lake Road (State Route 100) in Burrillville, Rhode Island.


Clear River Energy, LLC, a project company of Invenergy Thermal Development, LLC (Invenergy), and The Narragansett Electric Company d/b/a National Grid (TNEC), have jointly submitted a permit application to the Corps of Engineers pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The proposed project would consist of two major components, the Clear River Energy Center and the Burrillville Interconnection Project. More specifically, the application proposes to construct an electric generating facility known as the Clear River Energy Center (CREC); construct a dedicated 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line interconnection known as the Burrillville Interconnection Project (BIP); and upgrade an existing substation known as the Sherman Road Switching Station.       


The project would begin at the CREC site and extend generally northeast to the Sherman Road Switching Station. Once constructed, the BIP would connect the CREC to the existing New England electrical grid system. Clear River Energy, LLC would construct, own, and operate the CREC, located adjacent to the existing Algonquin Compressor Station. The CREC is a proposed combined-cycle electric generating facility that would be located on a 67-acre site, south of Wallum Lake Road (state route in Burrillville). The 67-acre CREC site is a subset of a 730-acre site that is owned and operated by Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC.    


During construction, the CREC would be accessed via a temporary access road that would be constructed off of Wallum Lake Road. Once operational, permanent access to the CREC would be via an improved Algonquin Lane which also is located off of Wallum Lake Road.


The basic project purpose is to supply and deliver energy to market. The overall project purpose is to supply and deliver energy to market to meet long-term electric supply demands within the Rhode Island and New England region. The CREC would address the need for new electric capacity that has been and will be created by retirements of existing generators, including oil and coal fired generators, and the additional potential retirements of other generators in the New England market. The CREC would improve the overall flexibility of the electric generation fleet, due to its fast start and high ramp rate capabilities, and would help support and compliment the addition of more renewable generation into the region. The BIP would be necessary to interconnect the CREC to the New England electric system so that the electrical energy produced at the CREC can be delivered to the end user market.


The proposed project has been designed to avoid and minimize impacts to aquatic resources while bolstering the existing electrical infrastructure in the Rhode Island and New England region. To compensate for unavoidable impacts to aquatic resources, the applicant is currently proposing mitigation which includes land acquisition and preservation of 1) an approximate 148-acre parcel of land known as the Sweet Hill Farm located off of Route 107 in Burrillville, RI, and 2) two parcels (Alles) totaling approximately 150-acres of land located west of Round Top Road in Burrillville, RI.


The current mitigation plan reiterates the applicants' commitment to restoration and stabilization of temporarily disturbed wetlands, construction staging areas and transmission line rights-of-way. The plan includes a description of project impacts, objectives, mitigation site selection procedures, site protection information, and monitoring standards in addition to all required graphics and information.


The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps in compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U.S. waters, including wetlands. The public notice, with more specifics on the work proposed by Clear River Energy, LLC, and the Narragansett Electric Company doing business as National Grid, can be viewed on the Corps website at https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/PublicNotices/.


Public comments on this work proposed by the Clear River Energy, LLC, and the Narragansett Electric Company doing business as National Grid (file # NAE-2016-00505) should be forwarded no later than July 3, 2019 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Alex Kostra), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Alex Kostra at 978-318-8651 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: alexander.a.kostra@usace.army.mil.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 19-052