Hearing to detail energy park plan

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An artist's rendering of the proposed Beacon Falls Energy Park. CT Energy & Technology wants to build the fuel cell power plant on a 23.8-acre piece of land owned by O&G Industries off of Lopus Road. –CONTRIBUTED
An artist’s rendering of the proposed Beacon Falls Energy Park. CT Energy & Technology wants to build the fuel cell power plant on a 23.8-acre piece of land owned by O&G Industries off of Lopus Road. –CONTRIBUTED

BEACON FALLS — Residents will have a chance to learn more about the proposed Beacon Falls Energy Park before the company behind the project begins the formal application process.

CT Energy & Technology has proposed building a 66.3-megawatt fuel cell energy park on a 23.8-acre site off Lopus Road owned by O&G Industries. If the plan comes to fruition, it will be the largest fuel cell park in the world.

Representatives of CT Energy & Technology and O&G Industries are scheduled to make a presentation and answer questions from residents and town officials during a public hearing July 7 at 7 p.m. at Woodland Regional High School, 135 Back Rimmon Road.

First Selectman Christopher Bielik said the public hearing is being held to give residents a chance to ask questions before the project goes before the Connecticut Siting Council. Bielik urged anyone who has questions about the project to attend the meeting.

“We’re doing this ahead of time on purpose so all this stuff can get out on the table first before it ever gets to the siting council,” Bielik said. “Our endeavor is going to be whatever questions you’ve got, let’s answer them now and get those answered so everybody is satisfied before it ever goes to Hartford.”

Bielik said the town will strive to have all questions answered, if not at the hearing, then in the future.

“If there are questions that remain unanswered, our intention is to make sure those questions are packaged and sent to the siting council, so they can act as our agent to ensure there is 100 percent transparency and an open and honest process in getting this thing advanced,” Bielik said.

CT Energy & Technology is a Connecticut-based development company that develops energy projects that meet the state’s goals for renewable energy. According to information presented in April, the plant will contain 21 fuel cell units. Fuel cell technology strips the hydrocarbons out of natural gas and combines the hydrogen with oxygen, which creates energy and heat, company representatives explained.