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June 7, 2019

Killingly power plant wins Siting Council approval

Rendering | Contributed A rendering the proposed Killingly Energy Center power plant.

Construction on the largest new power plant the state has seen in over a decade could begin as early as this fall, after the Connecticut Siting Council issued a key approval.

The council on Thursday approved a “certificate of environmental compatibility and public need” for Killingly Energy Center (KEC), a 650-megawatt, $700 million dual-fuel (natural gas and diesel oil) combined cycle plant would be located on Lake Road in Killingly, less than two miles west off I-395.

The decision wasn’t yet published on the council’s website on Friday morning, but Executive Director Melanie Bachman confirmed to Hartford Business Journal that the certificate had been approved.

Though NTE must still file a development and management plan to the council, along with some other submissions, the certificate is seen as the last significant approval NTE needs from the state.

The Florida-based company has already received an air permit from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, reached an agreement with Eversource for upgrades to a gas pipeline that would serve the facility, and secured a local tax agreement with Killingly, among other steps.

The council’s approval comes months after electric-grid operator ISO New England awarded a contract to KEC as part of a forward capacity auction that guarantees electricity from New England power generators for peak demand in 2020-2023. Almost 35,000 megawatts cleared the auction.

Previous attempts by NTE, in 2017 and 2018, to secure the ISO-NE contract were unsuccessful.

As part of a tax agreement with the Killingly Town Council, NTE said it will become one the town’s largest taxpayers, contributing over $100 million over two decades. 

The project will create 450 jobs during construction. Once complete, the plant will have a staff of 20, NTE said.

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