SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

May 1, 2013

Power plant review to start

Public hearing tomorrow begins approval process for natural gas proposal

(Continued)

“I remain confident that we’re going to get it done for the very simple reason that the plant has to get built, the power is needed in the Boston area, and we’re the only ones out there who can fulfill the need,” Footprint President Scott Silverstein said.

Footprint remains “committed to this project ... and to bringing a successful project to this city,” he said.

State Rep. John Keenan of Salem echoed similar sentiments.

“They’re convinced, as I am, that the plant will ultimately be built because it is needed ... in terms of reliability,” said Keenan, House chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. “I don’t know how the final chapter of the financing will get written, but I think it will get written and get built.”

Keenan said the financial commitment from ISO is estimated at $600 million over five years.

“That capacity payment makes it very attractive for people to partner with (Footprint) right now,” he said.

Footprint, which shuts down Salem Harbor Station next year, has pledged to demolish buildings and clean up the site. Silverstein said they expect to start removing obsolete oil tanks later this year.

A state task force has been set up to oversee this process and to make sure the cleanup gets done.

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

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