Patrick Administration Calls for Action on Salem Harbor Station

Shanna Cleveland

In the wake of Dominion’s announcement that it would not be cost effective to continue to operate and invest additional capital for pollution controls at Salem Harbor Station, the Patrick Administration has sent a message to ISO-NE calling for action.  In a letter to the President of ISO-NE, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Ian Bowles, highlighted the need to invest in clean energy instead of propping up old, environmentally obsolete coal plants such as Salem Harbor Station.  Secretary Bowles urged ISO-NE to “quickly implement” a solution to allow Salem Harbor Station to retire.

Clean energy policy has been one of the centerpieces of the Patrick Administration, and this letter signals not only the Administration’s commitment to building clean, new energy infrastructure, but also the important role they have in hastening the retirement of the coal-fired power plants that cause significant damage to public health and the environment.

ISO-NE is responsible for finding an alternative that will remove any need for Salem Harbor Station; however, after 7 years of transmission upgrades and planning, ISO-NE rejected Dominion’s request to remove Salem Harbor Station from the market over concerns that the plant could be needed on the hottest days of the year.  CLF has been pushing ISO-NE to expedite its planning process so that ratepayers will not be forced to bear the costs of keeping this 60 year old coal and oil plant on line despite its continued struggles to meet environmental regulations

The Secretary’s letter is particularly timely given that ISO-NE will host meetings on December 15 and December 16 to discuss the planning process for replacing Salem Harbor Station.

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