Salem Harbor Power Station Closes After 63 Years

The coal-burning facility will be replaced with a cleaner, natural gas plant.

Salem Harbor Station. Patch File Photo
Salem Harbor Station. Patch File Photo
By Sonaiya Kelley and Maggie Murray

Salem Harbor Station finally ceased operation at the end of May. The oil and coal burning power plant opened in 1951 and has been a fixture in the community as a steady employer ever since.

The power plant was known as the city’s biggest taxpayer and a large supporter of various sectors of the Salem community, particularly education. According to Salem News, past and current owners of the plant have given over $1.2 million dollars to Salem public schools and to organizations that work with the schools such as Salem Cyberspace and the Salem Education Foundation.

However, the plant has also faced a lot of scrutiny from environmentalists as energy and fuel industries have moved away from more pollutive methods toward cleaner, more efficient alternatives. New England’s Conservation Law Foundation found that pollution from the plant was detrimental to the health and quality of life of both employees of the plant and local citizens. CLF was the primary force behind shutting the plant down.

Wicked Local explains that future plans for the power plant include using the coal dock to accommodate cruise ships. Additionally, a prospective transition toward a new gas-powered plant is in the works.


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