GE, Footprint Power to upgrade Salem Harbor Station

General Electric (GE) agreed with Footprint Power to provide Salem Harbor Station with a new 674-MW natural gas facility to address local electric power reliability needs and cut pollution.

For the $200 million power equipment contract, GE will supply its FlexEfficiency 60 technology.

Footprint Power’s new combined-cycle plant will soon replace the existing Salem Harbor Station while occupying just 20 acres of the 65-acre site.

The new, upgraded plant will reduce regional carbon emissions by an average of about 450,000 tons per year — the equivalent of taking 90,000 cars a year off the road in New England.

The new plant will have the ability to turn down during off-peak hours, eliminating the extra fuel and emissions output associated with a power plant startup. With the new plant in operation, it is projected that regional NOx emissions will be reduced by 10 percent; SO2 emissions will be reduced by 8 percent; and mercury emissions will be reduced by 6 percent.

These reductions result from the efficiency and flexibility of the GE equipment in the new facility. Reductions resulting from retirement of the existing coal and oil facility are not even counted in these totals. The plant will also use air-cooled condensers, completely eliminating the use of hundreds of millions of gallons of water per day from Salem Harbor for once-through cooling.

The existing coal and oil-fired Salem Harbor Station will shut down at the end of May 2014, and GE’s equipment will ship in late 2014/early 2015. To reduce the impact on area residents, heavy equipment will be delivered by boat, rather than via streets in local neighborhoods. Commercial operation is planned for June 2016.

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