BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts power plant recently cited by federal regulators as one of the state's heaviest polluters is planning to shut down.
Owners of the coal-fired Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset filed papers Monday indicating the plant will no longer provide power to the region's electricity grid when it is retired as of May 2017.
The announcement came just months after the plant was sold by Virginia-based Dominion to Energy Capital Partners, a private equity firm with offices in New Jersey and California. Dominion bought the plant in 2005.
The plant's new owners pointed to a number of reasons for the planned shutdown, including low electricity prices from a surplus of natural gas and the need to invest "significant capital to meet environmental regulations and to operate and maintain an aging plant."
"We understand the impacts that this decision to retire Brayton Point Station will have on the employees of Brayton Point, local community and other stakeholders," Curt Morgan, CEO and President of Brayton Point Energy, LLC., said in a written statement Monday.
Morgan said the company will work to ease those impacts. Brayton Point Station, the largest of six coal-fired plants in New England, employs approximately 240 workers.
Environmental groups had long sought to close the plant, which topped the Environmental Protection Agency's list for most toxic emissions in Massachusetts in 2011.
"It's a very clear indication that coal-fired power is no longer economically viable," said Jonathan Peress of the Conservation Law Foundation.
Pauline Rodrigues, a longtime resident of Somerset, said she's pleased the plant will no longer be burning coal, but is worried about the loss of jobs and the financial hit to the town.