SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 3, 2014

Heard Around Salem: A winter week of ice and fire

SALEM — After another winter storm, there’s no better way to end the weekend than a Christmas tree bonfire.

The 11th annual bonfire is set for Sunday at 6 p.m. at Dead Horse Beach.

The Rev. Phil Wyman of The Gathering and his crew will be handing out free hot chocolate and providing music.

It’s not too late to drop your tree off at the beach, or you can always bring it along on Sunday. Just make sure to remove any decorations, lights and small pets. (That’s a joke, animal lovers).

In the event of snow on Sunday, the bonfire will be moved to Monday night.

Clean energy

It was interesting to see that Dominion, the former owner of Salem Harbor Station, has begun commercial operations of two “clean energy” facilities in Connecticut.

Where were they when we needed them?

The Virginia energy giant, if you recall, came to Massachusetts in 2005 to buy coal plants in Salem and Somerset — both of which are on their way to the slag heap.

Dominion Bridgeport Fuel Cell produces 14.9 megawatts using an electro-chemical process that converts natural gas into electricity. The Somers Solar Center has more than 23,000 solar panels and will generate ... drum roll, please ... 5 megawatts of renewable energy.

That’s about 20 megawatts of clean energy, which is nothing to sneeze at; it will power about 20,000 homes. To put that in perspective, however, the natural gas plant Footprint Power wants to build in Salem will produce about 674 megawatts.

Holiday card

State Rep. John Keenan has sent out this year’s holiday and New Year’s card, a nice photo of Friendship at Derby Wharf.

Knowing Keenan’s affection for the power plant, we’re surprised it wasn’t a tasteful shot of the coal pile — the last coal pile in Salem.

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