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Power Plant Public Hearing Scheduled for Sept. 19

Members of the public and local officials will have an opportunity to speak about Footprint's plan in front of Siting Board at Salem High School.

Power Plant Public Hearing Scheduled for Sept. 19

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to G.L. c.~164, §~69J¼, Salem Harbor Development LP (“Footprint”), 1140~Route~22 East, Suite 303, Bridgewater, New Jersey 08807, has filed with the Energy Facilities Siting Board (“Siting Board”) a Petition for approval to construct and operate a natural gas-fired, combined_cycle, quick_start power plant capable of generating 630~megawatts (“MW”) (nominal) (the “Facility”) at the Salem Harbor Power Station site, 24 Fort Avenue, Salem, Massachusetts. (With duct firing under summer conditions, the Facility will be capable of generating an additional 62~MW, for a total of 692~MW.) Footprint anticipates that the proposed Facility would begin commercial operation in June 2016.

The proposed Facility is subject to Siting Board review. The Petition has been docketed by the Siting Board as EFSB 12-2. The Siting Board will review Footprint’s Petition pursuant to G.L. c.~164, §§~69H, 69J¼, which require the Siting Board to ensure a reliable energy supply for the Commonwealth with a minimum impact on the environment at the lowest possible cost.

The Siting Board will conduct a public comment hearing to receive public comments on the proposed Facility at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at Salem High School, 77 Wilson Street, Salem, Massachusetts. 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 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. 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.

Footprint proposes to construct its Facility on the northwest 16-acre portion of the 65-acre Salem Harbor Power Station site used for power generation since 1951. The 65-acre site is bordered by Fort Avenue and the South Essex Sewerage District (“SESD”) wastewater treatment plant to the north; Salem Harbor and Cat Cove to the east and northeast; the Blaney Street Ferry terminal and several mixed-use buildings to the southeast; and by Derby Street and Fort Avenue to the west. Residential neighborhoods and the Bentley Elementary School are located to the west across Fort Avenue and Derby Street.

The existing Salem Harbor Power Station, which comprises four separate units, was owned and operated by a subsidiary of Dominion Resources, Inc. from 2005 until August 3, 2012, when an affiliate of Footprint became the owner. Units 1 and 2, both coal-fired, were removed from service on December~31, 2011.  The two remaining units – one coal-fired and one oil-fired -- are scheduled to be shut down on June~1, 2014. The existing Salem Harbor Power Station will be demolished by Footprint consistent with state and local requirements, all above ground features will be removed, and the site will be remediated. The proposed Facility will be housed in an 115,000 square foot building, ranging from 26 to 125 feet high; the main stack will be 230 feet high. This compares with existing buildings totaling 205,000 square feet with multiple existing stacks, the highest of which is approximately 500 feet high.

The proposed Facility will include two quick-start natural gas turbine generators; two steam turbine generators; two heat recovery steam generators, including pollution control equipment.  Additional equipment includes administrative/warehouse/shops space; a water treatment facility; step-up transformers; a 34,000 gallon ammonia storage tank; two to three water tanks (a 500,000_gallon raw water tank and a 200,000_gallon demineralized water tank are proposed); and air-cooled condensers.  

The Facility will be fueled by natural gas. Natural gas will be delivered to the site via a new 16-inch pipeline owned and operated by Spectra Energy (“Spectra”). Spectra also will construct an on-site metering and control station.  Spectra will obtain all federal, state and local approvals, as necessary, which are separate and distinct from this filing. Footprint’s portion of the gas interconnection is expected to require approximately 1,200 linear feet of underground 12-inch piping.

The Facility will interconnect with the National Grid (“NGRID”) electric transmission system at the northeast corner of the existing NGRID switchyard located on the site. In order to interconnect with NGRID, Footprint will construct ancillary facilities, including a new facility switchyard and four generator step-up transformers.  Underground cable connections and overhead transmission lines of 115 kV, will be constructed to connect these facilities.

The Facility will use water from the City of Salem municipal water system already connected to the site, or from the SESD water treatment plant, which involves building a new connection.  The proposed Facility will use approximately 163,800~gallons per day of water on an annual average basis. (Maximum possible water use for the new plant could be as much as 294,480 gallons per day.) Water will not be used for cooling, but instead will be required for process uses, potable water supply, and fire protection.

Copies of Footprint’s Petition are available for public inspection at the following locations:

(1) the Siting Board’s offices, One South Station, Boston, MA 02110, 5th Floor; (2) the City Clerk’s Office in Salem, 93 Washington Street, Salem MA 01970; (3) the Salem Public Library, 370 Essex Street, Salem, MA 01970

Intervention and Participation

Persons or groups who wish to be involved in the Siting Board proceeding beyond providing comments at the public hearing may seek either to intervene as a party or to participate as a limited participant. Intervention as a party allows the person or organization to participate in the evidentiary phase of this proceeding, including evidentiary hearings in Boston, and grants the right to appeal a final decision. A limited participant may receive many of the documents that will be submitted to the Siting Board and present written or oral argument to the Siting Board after evidentiary hearings conclude.

Any person interested in intervening as a party or participating as a limited participant in this proceeding must file a written petition with the Presiding Officer. Petitions must satisfy the timing and substantive requirements of 980 C.M.R. 1.05, the Siting Board’s procedural rules, which can be found on the Board’s website at: http://www.mass.gov/eea/energy-utilities-clean-tech/energy-facilities-siting-board/

A petition to intervene or participate as a limited participant must be filed in three places.

First, the petition must be filed in hard copy with:the Presiding Officer, M. Kathryn Sedor, Energy Facilities Siting Board, One South Station, Boston, Massachusetts, 02110 no later than the close of business (5:00 p.m.) on Wednesday, October 3, 2012.

Second, the petition must be filed with the Siting Board in electronic format using one of the following methods: (1) by e-mail attachment to dpu.efiling@state.ma.us; or (2) on a PC-compatible compact disc. The text of the email or the CD label must specify: (1) the docket number of the proceeding (EFSB 12-2) (2) the name of the person or entity submitting the filing; and (3) a brief description of the document. The electronic filing should also include the name, title and telephone number of a person to contact in the event of questions about the filing.

Third, the petition must be sent to counsel for Footprint, John A. DeTore, Esq., Rubin and Rudman LLP, 50 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA  02110. Any person desiring further information regarding this Notice, including information regarding intervention or participating in the adjudicatory proceeding, may contact the Presiding Officer at the address below:

M. Kathryn Sedor, Presiding Officer Energy Facilities Siting Board One South Station Boston, MA 02110 (617) 305_3525

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