SOURCE: TIMES LEADER
Salem Township Volunteer Fire Company Chief Lee Smith said annual funding from the new Caithness Moxie Freedom Generating Station is covering the expense of a vehicle that will serve the township and neighboring communities.
SALEM TWP. — The new Caithness Moxie Freedom Generating Station is now online and has started selling power in the market, a company representative said.
“Using state-of-the-art technology, the plant will achieve the highest efficiency in the use of natural gas,” said spokesman Steve Kratz.
The station’s dry-cooling technology reduces water usage 95 percent compared to a plant the same size using traditional cooling methods, he said. The Moxie Freedom station also will reduce CO2 emissions by 3.2 million tons per year compared to old steam plants, he said.
Representatives of the new Caithness Moxie Freedom Generating Station in Salem Township presented a $20,000 donation to the township’s volunteer fire company last week, part of a 19-year allocation that will increase by $500 annually.
Two companies operate the 177-acre station property — New York state-based Caithness Energy and Moxie Energy LLC, of Virginia. The plant provides power to the PJM Interconnection, a regional transmission organization that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in 13 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
With the help of an outside expert, Luzerne County recently valued the new station at $42.2 million, which makes it one of the top commercial assessments in the county.
After receiving official notice of the value, the property owner will have 40 days to challenge the assessment, which would equate to a combined school, county and municipal real estate tax bill of $752,237 based on current tax rates.
The company won’t have a comment on the new assessment until it receives and reviews the county’s formal notice, Kratz said Friday.
Kratz has stressed that Caithness Moxie Freedom is committed to supporting public improvement projects in the township and surrounding area.
Company representatives joined state and local officials in the township last week to present a $20,000 donation to the Salem Township Volunteer Fire Company.
“Our investment in this community did not stop with the development of the Caithness Freedom Generating Station. It has created an opportunity to be a long-term partner of the volunteer fire company, local leaders and the people of this community,” Ross D. Ain, executive vice president of Caithness Energy, said in a release.
The company has invested more than $800,000 in completed projects and future commitments, including recreational enhancements at the township park, the release said.
Starting in 2019, the company’s donation to the township’s volunteer fire department will increase to $20,500 and continue rising by $500 annually for 19 years, the release said.
Township Fire Chief Lee Smith said the funding is covering the purchase of a new vehicle that will serve the township and neighboring communities, according to the release.
State Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-Butler Township, said the donation is proof the company is “making good on its promise to be a good neighbor.”
“This long-term support will help to ensure Salem Township firefighters have the training and resources necessary to respond to emergencies at the plant and the surrounding community,” Toohil said in the release. “We have an outstanding volunteer fire department here, of which we can all be proud.”
Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.