While retired coal-fired power plants have been providing a source of steady work for demolition contractors, one natural gas-fired plant in Massachusetts may soon be demolished to make way for a professional soccer team’s stadium.
According to local media reports in the Boston area, legislators in the Bay State have been moving forward with a bill that would allow the New England Revolution to build a soccer stadium on the site of the Mystic Generating Station in Everett, Massachusetts, currently operated by Constellation Energy.
The Revolution Major League Soccer team is owned by Robert Kraft and other members of the Kraft family, who also own forest products conglomerate International Forest Products (IFP) and the New England Patriots football team. The Kraft Group also owns packaging board producer New Indy Containerboard.
The Boston Globe indicates a state legislative proposal would essentially rezone the power plant’s land away from a marine or port exclusive status to a more general-purpose designation. That same legislation reportedly also exempts the property from some environmental cleanup hurdles that would be in place for other redevelopment purposes.
A writeup on the Peabody, Massachusetts-based Banker & Tradesman website indicates an economic development bill moving through the Massachusetts House of Representatives “includes a clause that removes Constellation Energy’s 43-acre Mystic Generating Station property from a designated port area and exempts it from the Chapter 91 waterfront access law, which includes state limits on uses and size of buildings.”
According to that same writeup, the amendment also “removes a layer of regulatory oversight under the Chapter 91 Public Waterfront Act that seeks to balance competing economic interests on coastal properties.”
The Boston Globe’s coverage says the proposed legislation “would exempt the 43-acre industrial property straddling the Everett and Boston line from a slew of environmental requirements.”
According to the Banker & Tradesman, however, the project will be “subject to a local review and opportunities for public comment.” The website quotes one environmental advocacy group staff member who expresses alarm about the legislature’s request to have the property “removed from jurisdiction by the legislature.”
On its website, Constellation Energy describes the Mystic Generating as “a six-unit, 1,413-megawatt (MW) natural gas-fueled electric generation facility” that operates “two-on-one combined-cycle gas turbines.”
The ISO-New England regional standards organization issued a notice in July of last year indicating “the Mystic Generating Station will retire on June 1, 2024.” Media reports indicate the plant’s reliance on imported liquified natural gas, partly from Yemen, was rendering it less profitable in the energy marketplace.