Monthly Archives: September 2012

Record Ocean Temperatures Recorded Off New England Coast

 by Bob Berwyn
Climate Progress / News Report

Published: Sunday 23 September 2012

Scientists said this year’s sea surface temperatures along the northeast coast of the U.S. set all-time records, with as-yet unknown consequences for marine ecosystems.

Above-average temperatures were found in all parts of the ecosystem, from the ocean bottom to the sea surface and across the region, and the above average temperatures extended beyond the shelf break front to the Gulf Stream, according to an ecosystem advisory issued by NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

The warm waters led to the earliest, most intense and longest-lasting plankton bloom on record, with  implications for marine life, from the smallest creatures to the largest marine mammals like whales. Atlantic cod continued to shift northeastward from its historic distribution center.

Read more.

Power plant public hearing attracts crowd in Salem

Salem News  September 20, 2012

Tom Dalton  STAFF WRITER

SALEM — The first large public hearing on Footprint Power’s plan to build a natural gas-fired power plant on the Salem waterfront generated a lot of questions and concerns, but little heat.

If there is strong, broad-based community opposition to the idea of replacing 61-year-old Salem Harbor Station, a coal and oil-fired facility, with another power plant, it didn’t emerge last night from the more than 100 people who attended a Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board hearing at Salem High.

The project got a warm reception, as expected, from elected officials, business leaders and a union representative from the plant, but it also was endorsed by a Salem-based environmental group and several neighbors.

Read more.

September 19 Public Hearing: Energy Siting Board

The Siting Board will conduct a public comment hearing to receive public comments on the proposed Footprint Natural Gas Facility, which will replace the current coal facility at Salem Harbor Station.

The hearing is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at Salem High School, 77 Wilson Street, Salem, Massachusetts. This is an important opportunity to hear from the developers.

At the public comment hearing, Footprint will present an overview of the proposed facility. Public officials and the public will then have an opportunity to ask questions and make comments about the proposed facility.  The Siting Board will also accept written comments on the proposed Facility at the public comment hearing.  Written comments also may be filed with the Siting Board at the address below, until 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3, 2012.

The public comment hearings will be recorded by a court reporter.  Interpreters for both Spanish and Portuguese will be available at the public comment hearings for any members of the public who need translation in order to ask questions or make comments.

Dominion announces sale of Brayton Point

The Boston Globe reports that Dominion, the previous owner of Salem Harbor Station, has announced that it will sell its largest Massachusetts coal-fueled plant, Brayton Point.

Dominion Resources Inc. said Thursday it plans to get out of the wholesale power business and reduce debt by selling its massive Brayton Point plant in Somerset.

Brayton Point, which includes three coal-fired units and one operated on oil or natural gas, generates up to 1,536 megawatts of electricity, enough for about 1.5 million homes, according to the Virginia-based company. Located across Mount Hope Bay from Fall River, it has about 190 employees.

The decision to put Brayton Point on the market follows last month’s completion of a deal by Dominion to sell the Salem Harbor Power Station in Salem to Footprint Power LLC.

The closure of the Somerset plant would be a victory for the Coal Free Commonwealth campaign, which aims to shudder all the state’s coal-fired plants by 2020.

Footprint announces Toyota partnership

The Salem News reports that the new owner of the Salem power plan, will be partnering with Toyta Tsusho Corp., a member of the group of companies that includes Toyota Motors Corp.

 “We are delighted to add a world-class organization with Toyota’s resources and experience as a member of our team,” said Peter Furniss, Footprint’s CEO.

 “We look forward to working together with Toyota Tsusho to successfully develop a new, clean, efficient facility that will serve as the economic engine that will drive redevelopment of the rest of the non-power portions of the site.”

 Toyota Tsusho will be actively involved in the development process, contributing financially to the project as well as providing its expertise in development and operation of electric generating facilities. Read more.

The Salem News updated this story on September 6.