When Invenergy Wouldn’t Set A Limit On Water Withdrawal, Woonsocket Said “No Deal”

In January 2017 after working with the newly elected Woonsocket Town Council for some weeks, Invenergy required a vote from the City Council on a deal for Woonsocket to sell water to Invenergy to cool their proposed power plant in Burrillville.

One of the City Councilors had marked up the contract with some proposed changes and that had been supplied to Invenergy well in advance of the meeting. One of those changes was to set a yearly limit of fifteen million gallons on the volume of water to be withdrawn from Woonsocket. Invenergy had offered daily limits from 36,000 to 120,000 gallons per day depending on circumstances but no yearly limit. Using Invenergy’s daily numbers the yearly withdrawal could have been anywhere from 14 million to 44 million gallons a year. Putting a maximum withdrawal limit in the contract was meant to enforce what was being promised by Invenergy.

Invenergy declined to amend the contract and set a maximum yearly limit on water withdrawal. Their rationale was that lenders or analysts might see a scenario where they would need more than that maximum and not have confidence in Invenergy’s ability to get cooling water to the plant. The Woonsocket City Council then voted down the water withdrawal contract.

You can see Invenergy’s attorney arguing against the withdrawal limit in the video clip below.

It is unknown if there is any yearly maximum withdrawal in the contract Invenergy has negotiated with the Narragansett Tribe as the Energy Facility Siting Board has not allowed public access to that contract.

You can see all of the videos of the Woonsocket meeting and more at Steve Ahlquist’s YouTube Channel