FERC approves transfer of Salem Harbor plant to Footprint

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on July 27 approved the transfer of the short-lived Salem Harbor power plant from an affiliate of Dominion Resources (NYSE: D) to affiliates of Footprint Power LLC.

On June 29, Dominion Energy Salem Harbor LLC, Footprint Power Acquisitions LLC, Footprint Power Salem Harbor Operations LLC and Footprint Power Salem Harbor Real Estate LP filed an application under section 203 (a)(1) of the Federal Power Act (FPA) requesting authorization for the disposition of jurisdictional facilities resulting from a transaction in which Dominion Salem Harbor will be acquired by Footprint Acquisitions and merged into Footprint Salem Harbor. Footprint Salem Harbor will then enter into a sale and leaseback of the Salem Harbor plant with Footprint Real Estate.

The jurisdictional facilities affected by the transaction are Dominion Salem Harbor’s market-based rate tariff, related contracts, books and records, and the Salem Harbor plant’s interconnection facilities.

Dominion Salem Harbor is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Dominion Resources that owns the Salem Harbor plant, which is located in Salem, Mass., and has been in operation since the early 1950s.

The plant consists of: Unit 1, an 80-MW coal-fired unit; Unit 2, an 82-MW coal-fired unit; Unit 3, a 150-MW coal-fired unit; and Unit 4, a 438-MW oil-fired unit. Units 1 and 2 were removed from service in December 2011. Units 3 and 4 are committed to the ISO New England capacity market through May 31, 2014, and will be permanently shut down in June 2014.

Footprint Salem Harbor is a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of Footprint Acquisitions. Footprint Salem Harbor currently has no assets and was created to serve as a consolidation vehicle for the Salem Harbor purchase transaction. Footprint Acquisitions is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Footprint Power LLC. Footprint Acquisitions has no assets and was created to enter into the transaction to acquire Dominion Salem Harbor.

Footprint Power was created to acquire aging coal- and oil-fired power plants that have reached or are approaching the end of their useful lives as part of a plan to environmentally restore those sites once the plants are shut. All of the membership interests in Footprint Power are owned by two individuals, Peter Furniss and Scott Silverstein.

None of these involved parties currently own or control, directly or indirectly, any electric generation facilities or vertical inputs to electric generation. The applicants stated that until Salem Harbor is permanently shut down, the commission will continue to have the same jurisdiction over wholesale sales of electric energy from the plant as it had before.

Footprint Power said June 29 in announcing the plant buy that it plans to develop a natural gas-fired power plant at the Salem Harbor site.

According to the Footprint website, company CEO Furniss is a former NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) official who helped negotiate NRG’s purchase of Bluewater Wind. Footprint President and COO Silverstein served in senior posts for K Road Power and EBG Holdings.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.