A state environmental official has given approval to restart generators at the English Station power plant in the Fair Haven neighborhood that has been idle for a decade.

The draft decision Wednesday will allow the plant to burn oil in two of its generators.

It comes after more than two years of proposals, weeks of public hearings, and applications by nine different parties, including the City of New Haven, to formally oppose the project.

The decision is being praised by Quinnipiac Energy, the company that bought the plant from United Illuminating Co.(UI) two years ago. The state has been at risk of power shortages, said Scott DeGeeter, the company’s project manger.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) permit will allow English Station to generate 75 megawatts of power only at peak times when the state needs it most.

UI closed the plant after power demand diminished in 1991. Under the decision, Quinnipiac Energy can burn .05 percent sulfur oil in its two generators for no more than 600 hours a year, and only when energy demand and energy prices are peak.

City lawyers are writing a letter to DEP Commissioner Arthur Rocque, asking for oral argument before he puts a final signature on the permit.

“We’ll use every regulatory opportunity we have to intervene in this, and we’ll stick with it,” Mayor John DeStefano Jr. said.

–Associated Press