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February 7, 2019

Proposed $700M Killingly power plant clears key hurdle

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

Electric-grid operator ISO New England announced Wednesday evening that it has awarded a key contract to a proposed 650-megawatt power plant in Killingly.

Killingly Energy Center (KEC) developer NTE Energy had previously tried and failed twice in ISO-NE’s annual forward capacity auction, which helps secure power system resources three years into the future.

A forward capacity contract would mean monthly payments for the $700 million KEC, in exchange for its pledge to be available in 2022-2023.

The company recently reapplied to the Connecticut Siting Council to reopen its approval proceeding.

In May 2017, the Siting Council rejected the project, partly because it had not won a spot in the forward capacity auction.

Forward capacity contracts are one way of showing need for a project.

In a statement Thursday morning, NTE CEO Seth Shortlidge said KEC would come as up to 6,000 megawatts of older generators are nearing retirement in New England. 

 “In addition to providing a much-needed source of clean, more efficient energy, the plant’s flexible combined-cycle design will help the environment by producing significantly lower emissions than today’s aging plants," Shortlidge said. “By securing the [contract], the Killingly Energy Center has taken yet another important step toward helping secure the region’s energy reliability.”

In all, ISO-NE said nearly 35,000 megawatts cleared the auction, which will help meet New England’s projected peak demand in 2022-2023.

That includes more than 800 megawatts of new generation, much of it from KEC.

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