Moxie Energy CEO Aaron Samson Dies in Accident, Age 59

Aaron Teal Samson – Nov. 25, 1959 – Oct. 20, 2019

This one really hurts. A true titan in our industry and all-around superb individual, Aaron T. Samson, died on Oct. 20 at age 59 following a freak accident. Samson was CEO of Moxie Energy, a company we’ve written plenty about over the years (see our Moxie stories here). Moxie has built a number of Marcellus-fired power plants in Pennsylvania. Aaron was personally, using his own hands, building a house for a close friend (at no cost) in Michigan when he fell, injuring himself, ultimately resulting in his death.
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Scranton Newspapers “Me Too” Articles on Moxie Energy Power Plant

It’s not often that MDN “breaks news” as in we bring you the story first. But sometimes we do, as we did last Friday when we told you that Moxie Energy is in the hunt for a third Marcellus gas-fired electric generating plant project–this one in Luzerne County (see Moxie Energy in Hunt for Third Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant?). We spotted a very brief mention from a local Wilkes-Barre TV station and sketched out the story for you, providing the background and detail–connecting the dots no one else noticed. So it gives us great pleasure to point out that after we broke the story, both the Scranton Times-Tribune and the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader then picked it up…
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Caithness Cuts Ribbon on Marcellus-Fired Plant Near Wilkes-Barre

In September 2018, the 1,050-megawatt Moxie Freedom Marcellus-fired power plant located near Wilkes-Barre, PA (Luzerne County) went online, feeding the electricity it produces into the local power grid (see Moxie Freedom Marcellus-Fired Plant Near Wilkes-Barre Online). And yet Caithness Energy, owner of the plant, held the official ribbon-cutting ceremony…yesterday. More than a year after going online. Why?
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Wilkes-Barre Moxie Freedom NatGas Plant Taxes $752K per Year

As of September, the 1,000-megawatt Moxie Freedom Marcellus-fired power plant located near Wilkes-Barre, PA (Luzerne County) is up and running and feeding electricity it produces into the local power grid (see Moxie Freedom Marcellus-Fired Plant Near Wilkes-Barre Online). That means it’s now time to pay the piper–meaning it’s time to begin paying property taxes. How does a county value such a facility–the first of its kind in the county? They hire a private firm to do it, at a cost of $50,000! (Yikes, we’re in the wrong business.) The valuation is now done, and the private firm reckons Moxie Freedom is worth $42.2 million. Which means the facility will pay $752,000 per year in property taxes to various governmental entities.
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Moxie Freedom Marcellus-Fired Plant Near Wilkes-Barre Online

Moxie Freedom

The 1,000-megawatt Moxie Freedom Marcellus-fired power plant located near Wilkes-Barre, PA is now “transitioning to commercial operation.” The plant is up and running and soon will be feeding the electricity it produces into the local power grid. In June 2014, MDN broke the news that Moxie Energy was in the hunt to begin a third new Marcellus gas-powered electric plant project in Pennsylvania, near Wilkes-Barre (see Moxie Energy in Hunt for Third Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant?). In November 2015, Moxie selected Gemma Power to build the plant, and construction began a month later (see Moxie Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Breaks Ground in NEPA). In June 2017, Caithness Energy (the owner) issued an update to say the plant will go online in May of this year (see NEPA Moxie Freedom Power Plant on Track for May 2018 Launch). That didn’t happen. However, we spotted a local newspaper article that quotes plant officials as saying they are right now in the process of transitioning to commercial operation…
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NEPA Moxie Freedom Power Plant on Track for May 2018 Launch

Artist’s rendering for Moxie Freedom project – click for larger version

In June 2014 MDN broke the news that Moxie Energy was in the hunt to begin a third new Marcellus gas-powered electric plant project in Pennsylvania, near Wilkes-Barre (see Moxie Energy in Hunt for Third Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant?). Indeed, our suspicions were borne out. In November 2015, Moxie selected Gemma Power to build the plant, and construction began a month later (see Moxie Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Breaks Ground in NEPA). The 850-megawatt plant will use local Marcellus Shale gas to power it. Last September, Moxie contracted with EthosEnergy to run and maintain the plant (see Moxie Chooses EthosEnergy to Run NEPA NatGas Electric Plant). And since then, we haven’t heard anything. What’s the status of the plant? We spotted an update in a Wilkes-Barre newspaper from Caithness Energy (project builder) that says the project is on track to be “fully commercial next May, generating over 1,000 megawatts of electricity.” That’s interesting. Somewhere along the way the plant increased in size from 850 to 1,000+ megawatts. The update also states 23 of the 24 permanent positions are already hired and currently in training. Here’s the update…
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Planned OH Utica-Powered Electric Plant Goes from 1,100 to 1,650 MW

In April 2016 MDN told you about the Guernsey Power Station–a new Utica/Marcellus natural gas-fired electric generating plant proposed for Guernsey County, OH (see New Utica-Powered Electric Plant Proposed for Guernsey County, OH). Apex Power Group at that time said they want to build a large 1,100 megawatt plant in Valley Township–producing enough electricity to power 1 million homes. The plant will generate 500 jobs during construction, and 25 full-time jobs to operate the plant when it’s completed. Apex says construction is targeted to begin in 2018 and will go online in 2020. The good news is that Apex and joint venture partner Caithness Energy have now filed a pre-application for the project–and the application shows they no longer want to build an 1,100 megawatt plant, they now want to build a whopping 1,650 megawatt plant! That’s the biggest natgas-fired electric plant we’ve heard of so far–anywhere. The previous title-holder was Dominion’s 1,600 megawatt plant currently under construction in Greensville County, VA (see Dominion Begins Building Virginia’s Biggest NatGas Power Station). Here’s more about the Guernsey Power Station…
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Panda’s Marcellus Gas Power Plants Fined for Using Too Much Water

Panda Power FundsOver the past two months Panda Power Funds has brought online the first two built-from-scratch-to-use-Marcellus-gas electric plants, both in northeast Pennsylvania (see First NatGas Power Plant in Marcellus, Panda Liberty, Goes Online and Panda’s 2nd Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Goes Online in PA). Before Panda owned and built the “Liberty” and “Patriot” power plant projects, they were first owned and begun by Moxie Energy. Moxie secured all of the necessary permits and then sold the two projects to Panda (see Moxie Liberty Sells PA Electric Plant Project to Panda Power and Panda Power Buys Rights for 2nd Marcellus-Fueled Electric Plant). Panda is also building a third power gen project by converting a former coal-fired plant into burning Marcellus gas (see Panda Power Building 3rd Marcellus-Fired Electric Plant in PA). Word has come out that when Panda was building the two Moxie-purchased plants, Liberty and Patriot, they used more water than the original plan called for. Panda says Moxie’s original plan didn’t allow for enough water needed to properly test the plants. The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) has been in talks with Panda about all three of their projects and the water overages for each. News reports say that Panda has worked out a deal with the SRBC to pay the agency a $97,000 fine for using too much water…
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Panda Power! New NatGas Electric Plant Planned for CT

Panda Power FundsThose willy pandas are on the prowl again. In August 2013, Moxie Energy of Vienna, VA sold the permits/rights to build a new Marcellus gas-powered electric generating plant in Bradford County, PA to Panda Power Funds of Dallas, TX (see Moxie Liberty Sells PA Electric Plant Project to Panda Power). The project was renamed from Moxie Liberty to Panda Liberty. A few months later, in December 2013, Moxie sold a second Marcellus-gas fired electric plant project to Panda, this one slated to be built in Lycoming County, PA (see Panda Power Buys Rights for 2nd Marcellus-Fueled Electric Plant). That project was renamed from Moxie Patriot to Panda Patriot. In June, Panda began operations at both plants (see Panda Power’s 2 PA Marcellus-Fired Electric Plants Complete!). With those two projects in hand, it’s time to look for new opportunities. Panda has found one–in Connecticut. Panda is proposing to build a 550-megawatt plant powered by natural gas in Litchfield County, near Danbury, CT…
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Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow: NJ Elec Plant Expands with Marcellus Gas

Construction has already begun with land-clearing on a 6.25-acre plot at the Bayonne Energy Center (BEC) in Bayonne, New Jersey to add two more gas turbines to the natural gas-fired electric generating plant. There are already eight (!) natgas-fired turbines at the plant. The two new turbines will add an extra 132 megawatts of electric generation to the plant, bringing the grand total output to 644 megawatts. The plant is a joint venture owned by Hess Corporation and ArcLight Capital Partners. It is operated by EthosEnergy. Recognize the name? Earlier this week MDN reported that EthosEnergy has been selected by Moxie Energy to run its new electric generating plant near Wilkes-Barre (see Moxie Chooses EthosEnergy to Run NEPA NatGas Electric Plant). The great part of the Bayonne Energy Center story is that Marcellus Shale gas from Pennsylvania feeds the plant. Below are the details on the technology being used in the Bayonne plant, and a little bit about how these kinds of plants work: “Suck, squeeze, bang, blow”…
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Moxie Chooses EthosEnergy to Run NEPA NatGas Electric Plant

ethoseenergyIn June 2014 MDN broke the news that Moxie Energy was in the hunt to begin a third new Marcellus gas-powered electric plant project in Pennsylvania, near Wilkes-Barre (see Moxie Energy in Hunt for Third Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant?). Indeed, our suspicions were borne out. In November 2015 Moxie selected Gemma Power to build the plant, and construction began a month later (see Moxie Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Breaks Ground in NEPA). The 850-megawatt plant will use local Marcellus Shale gas to power it. Last week came the news that Moxie has contracted with EthosEnergy to run and maintain the plant. EthosEnergy announced it will 20 full-time employees from the area to run the plant. This is great news, signaling the project nears completion and start-up…
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Panda Power’s 2 PA Marcellus-Fired Electric Plants Complete!

Panda Power FundsIn August 2013, Moxie Energy of Vienna, VA sold the permits/rights to build a new Marcellus gas-powered electric generating plant in Bradford County, PA to Panda Power Funds of Dallas, TX (see Moxie Liberty Sells PA Electric Plant Project to Panda Power). The project was renamed from Moxie Liberty to Panda Liberty. A few months later, in December 2013, Moxie sold a second Marcellus-gas fired electric plant project to Panda, this one slated to be built in Lycoming County, PA (see Panda Power Buys Rights for 2nd Marcellus-Fueled Electric Plant). That project was renamed from Moxie Patriot to Panda Patriot. Panda contracted with Gemma Power Systems (Connecticut) to build both 829-megawatt plants. We have some terrific news to share: Gemma reports completing both facilities and has turned them over to Panda to begin operation!…
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Moxie Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Breaks Ground in NEPA

Groundbreaking! Really great news from Salem Township in Luzerne County, PA. The Moxie Freedom Marcellus gas-powered electric plant broke ground last week. The $800 million, 1050-watt facility was approved by the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection in September (see Moxie’s NEPA Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Gets DEP Approval). Just last month Gemma Power announced they were selected to build the plant for Moxie (see Gemma Power Gets Contract to Build Moxie Freedom Electric Plant). Here’s the good news that the first shovel hit the dirt last week…
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Gemma Power Gets Contract to Build Moxie Freedom Electric Plant

Over a year ago MDN broke the news that Moxie Energy was in the hunt to begin a third new Marcellus gas-powered electric plant project in Pennsylvania (see Moxie Energy in Hunt for Third Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant?). Indeed, our suspicions were borne out and Moxie pursued a project to build a plant in Luzerne County. Moxie is calling it the Freedom project and in November they received approval from Salem Township to proceed (see Moxie’s NEPA Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Gets 1st Approval). In September Moxie received the all-important approval–permission from the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (see Moxie’s NEPA Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Gets DEP Approval). We were convinced that like the previous two such projects, Moxie Liberty and Moxie Patriot were sold to Panda Power Funds, the company that is right now building them. However, a press release was just issued by Gemma Power Systems that says Gemma has been selected by Moxie to build the $800 million project. Here’s the details from Gemma on what technology they will use to build the 1,000-megawatt plant near Scranton…
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Moxie’s NEPA Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Gets DEP Approval

approvedOver a year ago MDN broke the news that Moxie Energy was in the hunt to begin a third new Marcellus gas-powered electric plant project in Pennsylvania (see Moxie Energy in Hunt for Third Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant?). Indeed, our suspicions were borne out and Moxie pursued a project to build a plant in Luzerne County. Moxie is calling it the Freedom project and in November they received approval from Salem Township to proceed (see Moxie’s NEPA Marcellus-Powered Electric Plant Gets 1st Approval). However, last week they received the all-important approval–permission from the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection…
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