Salem power plant plan could be short-circuited by state agency's decision
The Department of Public Utilities just did what the Legislature avoided doing: The state agency has thwarted a quest for state help with building a new power plant in Salem.
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#1 Mar 21, 2013
"In its ruling, the DPU said it would be “premature” to order the utilities to enter into long-term contracts unless it was clear that “the competitive market had failed and that there were imminent (energy) reliability concerns.”
As a proponent of the new plant, I wonder if any of the DPU siting board members are less concerned with market and reliability concerns, and more interested in appeasing Environmental groups such as CLF and Healthlink. Commissioner David Cash (a Deval Patrick appointee), was architect of the Green Communities Act, the Global Warming Solutions Act, the Green Jobs Act and the Clean Energy Biofuels Act. Chairperson Ann G. Berwick was involved with pollution control technologies.
Anyone has has watched market conditions this winter, realizes that ISO market pricing for electrical generation in January and February AVERAGED well over $100, when compared to the last 5 winters it was well below $50, in some cases @$30.
The average rate payer doesn't realize how much wind and solar generation alternatives it would require to replace the 750 MW, which ISO loses when Salem Station is shutdown. Also, there should be a contingency for disastrous events like earthquakes and tsunamis that crippled Japan, as Seabrook, Pilgrim and Millstone are much more vulnerable to these catastrophes.
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