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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New England's biggest coal-fired power plant, in Somerset, Mass., will shut

Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset, Mass., is going to shut, victim of low natural gas prices and more stringent environmental concerns, reports Boston Business Journal (article here).

The plant is monstrous: three coal-fired units totaling 1095 megawatts (the same as Seabrook Station nuke plant, and more than twice as big as the biggest NH coal-fired power plant, Merrimack Station in Bow), plus a 435-megawatt natural gas unit and three small diesel generators for emergencies. Here's its official site.

Coal-fired plants around the country are under pressure from cheap natural gas - another coal plant in Mass. is being switched to gas - and plans by EPA to further constrain pollution from the dirtiest of major fossil fuels.

Merrimack Station is, as you probably know, embroiled in a debate over who has to pay how much for its $450 million scrubber, which eliminated most of the mercury and sulphur in emissions, but did nothing for carbon dioxide.