SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

December 13, 2013

ISO: Salem power plant needed

Asks court for speedy resolution of case

(Continued)

Without a new power plant, ISO said it could even have to resort to measures like “trailer-mounted diesel generators” to provide the extra power needed in the region.

Opponents of the plant have argued that future energy needs in this region can be met by a number of steps, including upgrades to electric transmission lines and energy conservation.

ISO disagrees.

“There are no transmission projects that have even begun the siting process and, as a result, transmission is also not a viable option to meet the need,” the ISO attorney wrote.

If anything, ISO said the need for electricity in future years has only increased this year due to the potential closings of several power plants.

In response, the CLF stressed that the regional grid operator, while playing an important role, has a limited perspective on the global energy issue.

“ISO-NE’s legally-mandated responsibility is to keep the lights on,” Peress stated. “It doesn’t have the means, nor is it allowed by law to determine whether Footprint or any other power plant is environmentally suitable. That is the state’s job, and decisions must be made consistent with state law.”

ISO told the court that it is “counting on” Footprint’s (power generation) capacity to be available no later than June 1, 2016.

It also reminded the court that Footprint, in its own legal filing, said it must begin pre-construction by the end of January to open the plant by June 2016, and that it cannot obtain financing while the appeals are pending.

ISO asked the court to rule on the appeals “as soon as practicable.”

Tom Dalton can be reached at tdalton@salemnews.com.

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