by Samantha Dynowski, State Director, Sierra Club Connecticut
Now it’s time for a clean electricity future for all. Climate activists around Connecticut have news to celebrate. After six years of opposition – protests, press conferences, public hearings, legal battles and more – the proposal for a 650-megawatt dirty power plant in Killingly appears to have finally been defeated.
Connecticut has become a hub for dirty energy; having built more than 40 fossil fuel power plants since 1998, our state now hosts 54 fossil fuel power plants. Connecticut only uses about 73% of the energy produced. Environmental justice communities bear the disproportionate burden of air pollution from these large fossil power plants. So we did not want or need another dirty power plant.
Over the years, dozens of local and state organizations and thousands of residents organized against the proposed power plant in Killingly which would have emitted up to 2.2 million tons of carbon a year and further degraded local air quality in northeastern Connecticut. The climate, environmental justice, and local health concerns of this power plant have been a rallying cry.
On Jan. 4, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the request of grid operator ISO-New England to terminate its contract for power from the plant. The developer appealed this decision, but in February, in the midst of that appeal, the regional grid operator, ISO-NE, communicated that the developer of the Killingly power plant had failed to meet its financial obligations to participate in New England’s energy grid auction.
Thank you to everyone who spoke up in opposition! Your advocacy made a difference.
Now that the threat of this power plant is behind our state, it is time to reflect on what we learned and advocate for changes to ensure Connecticut can really and truly and equitably move to a clean energy future. Connecticut now needs to put policies in place to protect environmental justice communities from disproportionate exposure to air pollution, to require our state agency decisions to align with the state’s mandatory greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and to equitably ramp up energy efficiency, and clean and renewable power.
Find Sierra Club Connecticut online at connecticut.sierraclub.org.