Exelon battling environmental realities to keep Mystic Generating Station open

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Exelon’s Mystic Generating Station.  (Photo by JIM MAHONEY)

Power plant slated to be shuttered in 2024


Exelon, Everett’s largest taxpayer, is fighting for its right not only to continue producing energy at its plant but to do so long after its twilight and end had been planned for in 2024.

Environmentalists in Greater Boston are fighting to close down the power plant, which produces enormous amounts of energy for 1 million New England consumers but does so with an unmatched record locally for polluting the environment.

The Boston Globe published a news piece Monday that hit Exelon like a hammer over the head.

“The towering smokestacks of the state’s largest power plant have loomed for decades over the Boston area, spewing pollutants that produce smog, warm the planet, and exacerbate asthma and other respiratory illnesses, such as the coronavirus,” wrote the Globe.

The Mystic Generating Station as it is known locally, which is located on a sliver of land abutting Everett, was slated to close two years ago.

The City of Everett is presently involved in a law suit seeking more tax money from the entire Exelon position on the Everett coastline. The city has made the claim that the $15 million a year coming into the city treasury does not account for the true value of the company’s real estate and manufacturing assets.

Mystic Generating Station by Exelon. (Photo by JIM MAHONEY)

Exelon decided to phase out the plant in conjunction with the city’s demand for more assessment value and tax money from the company.

To date, the city has paid former governor Attorney Bill Weld an estimated $1.5 million in legal fees to reach a success for the city.

The lawsuit remains in litigation.

The phase out was to have closed the place in 2024.

Now, with the plant’s oil and gas turbines belching millions of tons of noxious pollutants every year, Exelon is seeking to continue operating the 2,000-megawatt plant beyond the next four years. The move has sparked out- rage throughout the surrounding communities, where a disproportionate number of residents have long suffered elevated levels of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, the Globe wrote.

The plant’s turbines “meet Massachusetts’ environ- mental and emissions standards, which are among the strictest in the country,” said Mark Rodgers, a spokesman for Exelon, which received a $400 million contract to continue operating the plant from 2022 to 2024.

Last week, in an effort to extend its operating contract, the company filed a 53-page complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, accusing ISO New England of violating its policies by insufficiently reviewing the region’s energy and transmission needs. Exelon also accused the grid operator of curtailing a competitive bidding process to replace Mystic’s power.

Despite local complaints of asthma and respiration difficulties among those who live near to the energy complex, the Mystic Station’s enormous turbines will continue to pump out energy to all of New England for a long time coming.

Without a suitable replacement, closing the energy plant would seriously affect 1 million homeowners and apartment dwellers ability to stay warm in the winter.

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