Salem Harbor Station is a 750 MW coal and oil-fired power plant that sits on 65 acres of ocean front property. The power plant was originally built in the 1950s and has been one of the largest taxpayers in Salem for decades. It is scheduled to shutdown in June 2014.
The coal and oil burned at the power plant is a major source of air pollution, leading to high rates of asthma and heart disease in our region, and a significant contributor to the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere that is causing global climate change. Because of these negative environmental impacts, SAFE has supported efforts to clean up the plant and end of use of coal for electricity production.
In August 2012, Footprint Power, an energy developer, acquired the power plant. Footprint will continue running the coal plant until the scheduled shutdown in 2014. Following the shutdown, Footprint is committed to cleaning up the site and installing a quick-start natural gas plant. The gas plant will take up approximately 20 acres, leaving another 35-40 acres for commercial development.
SAFE has offered qualified support for the Footprint proposal as long as the plan remains consistent with our goals of: clean energy production, site clean up, limited impact on the abutting neighborhoods, and a reasonable tax agreement with the city of Salem. SAFE is also working with the City and other community groups to learn how other communities have used Community Benefits Agreements to ensure that large developers meet the community’s needs.