On December 21, 1998, the Energy Facilities Siting Board (the "Siting Board") issued a tentative decision conditionally approving the petition of ANP Blackstone Energy Company ("ANP" or the "Company") to construct a nominal net 580-megawatt ("MW") bulk generating facility and ancillary facilities in Blackstone, Massachusetts. The tentative decision also conditionally approves the joint petition of ANP and Boston Edison Company ("BECo") to construct two new 1.1 mile 345 kV overhead transmission lines in the Towns of Blackstone and Mendon.
In the tentative decision, the EFSB found that, subject to certain conditions, the construction and operation of the proposed generating facility and transmission facilities will be consistent with providing a necessary energy supply for the Commonwealth with a minimum impact on the environment at the lowest possible cost. The Siting Board directed ANP to comply with conditions specified in the decision regarding the mitigation of carbon dioxide, water resources, visual and traffic impacts, the minimization of EMF impacts, and the signing of both an engineering, procurement and construction ("EPC") contract and an interconnection agreement.
On July 15, 1997, ANP filed a petition to construct a nominal net 580 MW natural gas-fueled, combined-cycle facility in Blackstone, Massachusetts. ANP proposed to deliver natural gas to the generating facility via a new 12-inch pipeline that would be constructed by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company ("Tennessee"), and would extend from Tennessee's existing pipeline facility in the town of Mendon to the project site in Blackstone. The petition was docketed as EFSB 97-2. On March 26, 1998, ANP filed a supplemental petition jointly with BECo requesting approval to construct two new 345 kV overhead transmission lines in the towns of Blackstone and Mendon along with a 345 kV transmission substation to be located within the project footprint. The transmission lines and associated substation would deliver electric power generated by the proposed project to the existing 345 kV BECo transmission Line 336. The supplemental petition was docketed as EFSB 98-2, and was later consolidated with EFSB 97-2.
- Siting Board Review of the Proposed Generating Facility
In accordance with G.L. c. 164, §§ 69H and 69J,1 before approving a petition to construct a generating facility, the Siting Board requires the applicant to show the following: (1) that additional energy resources are needed; (2) that the proposed project is superior to alternative approaches in terms of cost, environmental impact, reliability, and ability to address the previously identified need; (3) that the project is viable; and (4) that the proposed site for the facility is superior to an alternative site in terms of cost, environmental impact and reliability of supply.
Regarding the need for the proposed generating facility, the Siting Board found that there will be a sustained need for 580 MW or more of additional energy resources in both New England and Massachusetts for reliability purposes beginning in the year 2000. Further, the Siting Board found that there will be a need in both New England and Massachusetts for the additional energy resources produced by the baseload operation of the proposed project for economic efficiency purposes and for environmental purposes.
The Siting Board also found that ANP considered a reasonable range of practical facility siting alternatives. The Siting Board determined that the proposed project is superior to all alternative technologies reviewed with respect to providing a necessary energy supply with a minimum impact on the environment at the lowest possible cost, and that, upon compliance with the conditions listed in the decision, ANP established that its proposed project is reasonably likely to be a viable source of energy.
- Siting Board Review of the Proposed Transmission Facilities
In accordance with G.L. c. 164, § 69H, before approving a petition to construct a construct a jurisdictional transmission line that would connect the proposed generating plant to the regional transmission system, the Siting Board requires the applicant to show the following: (1) that the generating facility will contribute a reliable supply of energy for the Commonwealth with a minimum impact to the environment at the lowest possible cost; (2) that the existing transmission system is inadequate to support this new generating facility; and (3) that additional energy resources are necessary to accommodate the new generating facility.
The Siting Board found that the existing transmission system is inadequate to support the proposed generating facility, and that there is a need for additional energy resources to interconnect the proposed generating facility with the regional transmission system. The Siting Board approved the petition of ANP and BECo to construct the proposed transmission lines and ancillary facilities, and determined that, with compliance by ANP with the conditions relating to the proposed generating facility, the construction and operation of the proposed transmission facilities will provide a reliable energy supply for the Commonwealth with a minimum impact on the environment at the lowest possible cost.
Comments on the tentative decision must be filed with the Siting Board no later than Wednesday, January 6, 1999. The Siting Board will meet to consider the tentative decision on Wednesday, January 13, 1998.
Please contact David Rosenzweig if you have any questions regarding this Regulatory Alert.
e:Regulatory AlertsEFSB 97-2 98-2
1The ANP petition in EFSB 97-2 was reviewed by the Siting Board under the statutory provisions that predate the amendments from the 1997 Electric Restructuring Act.