Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Aquaria-Power Plant Water Deal Details "Slap In The Face" Councilor Says

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—Although it may take years before a developer looking to build a 350-megawatt natural gas power plant can buy water from desalination water provider Aquaria LLC, Brockton city councilors are indignant that Aquaria’s general manager did not inform them a potential deal was in the works and instead had to learn the details from the media.
“With all due respect, I see it as a slap in the face,” said Councilor-at-large Thomas Brophy during Monday night’s City Council Finance Committee meeting when Aquaria’s general manager Alfredo Andres attended the meeting to talk about the potential sale of 1.7 million gallons of water to cool the turbines that would power the proposed natural gas plant on Oak Hill Way.
Andres and Aquaria came under fire at the end of last month following a state hearing with the Energy Facilities Siting Board that upheld the city’s denial of drinking water for the power plant’s turbines.
The power plant project has been mired in controversy, lawsuits and a grassroots uprising against it that includes 10 of 11 city councilors and the city’s state legislators.
The water issue is seen as a linchpin in the plant’s construction and along with denying the plant drinking water, the city has rejected the plant’s request to pay for the use of treated wastewater—the plant’s first choice in the approval process.
When the waste water was denied, power plant officials sought approval from the state to use the city’s drinking water.
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