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Salem Twp. power plant clears first hurdle

SALEM TWP. — After a three-and-a-half hour public hearing on Wednesday, the three township supervisors voted to approve a new facility that would convert natural gas from the Marcellus Shale into electricity.

Virginia-based Moxie Energy, LLC asked for conditional use to build the Moxie Freedom plant on Mingle Inn Road off U.S. Route 11 in an I-3 Special Industrial zone.

The plant would employ about 35 people and would generate 1,000 megawatts of electricity. Moxie Energy selected the site due to proximity of an existing high-voltage transmission line system from the nearby PPL Susquehanna Steam nuclear power plant and the Williams Companies’ Transco interstate natural gas pipeline.

The approval comes with conditions recommended by the township’s planning commission. For example, the plant can operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. six days a week, except when it gets permission from the township after giving three days’ advance notice, and the company has to erect an earthen berm around the facility for noise control.

Now that the company has the OK from the supervisors on the zoning aspect, the next step is to go through the township’s land development and subdivision process and get required permits from agencies including the state Department of Environmental Protection.

In related news, Company to build small power plants in Marcellus region.