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HI Plans Rhode Island Merchant Plant

HI Plans Rhode Island Merchant Plant

Houston Industries Power Generation, a subsidiary of Houston Industries, signed an option agreement to purchase a 33-acre site from the R.I. Resource Recovery Corp. This site is the planned home for RI Hope Energy, a 500 MW merchant plant to serve deregulated wholesale markets in Rhode Island and New England. RI Hope Energy will be in an industrial park currently being developed by RIRRC in Johnston, RI.

Steve Davies, project manager for the R.I. Hope Energy Project said the plant will burn 90,000 MMBtu/d when it's operating at full load, about 85% to 90% of the time. Gas supply has not been contracted for yet. The plant will be on a Tennessee Gas lateral, though. Down the road, Davies said the plant could access Sable Island gas. There are no contracts in place yet to sell the plant's power output. Electricity will be marketed by Houston Industries affiliate NorAm Energy. The plant's development is part of a strategy to secure generation assets in key markets across the country. NorAm Energy Management already has ties to the Rhode Island electricity market as it was selected by the Rhode Island Food Dealers Association to provide all of the energy needs of its members, including electricity, natural gas, and energy efficiency services.

R.I. Hope Energy has applied to the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. to have its project classified as being "of critical economic concern to the state." By early June, permit applications will be made with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and with the state's Energy Facility Siting Board.

Joe Fisher, Houston

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