A spokesman for developers of a cogeneration plant to serve Newport, R.I., says a Rhode Island Superior Court judge has somewhat eased the way for the project to proceed.
Judge Richard Israel modified a temporary restraining order to let NECO Enterprises to continue working with Aquidneck Energy Limited Partnership to develop the plant at utility-owned land in Portsmouth. The order requires NECO shareholder approval until a disputed proxy vote forming the holding company is resolved, said Herbert Rinehart, an Aquidneck spokesman.Mr. Rhinehart said the timetable for the 26.5 megawatt plant "has been slipping for several months because of the hostile takeover attempt." Newport Electric, a NECO subsidiary, would buy 50 percent of the plant's output.
He referred to an unsuccessful try by financier David F. LaRoche to secure a controlling interest in Newport Electric Co. in January. Newport Electric formed NECO Enterprises, a holding company that can engage in unregulated, non-utility ventures, but Mr. LaRoche obtained the temporary court order against a NECO-Aquidneck deal until Judge Israel ruled.