by Paul McMorrow, CommonWealth Magazine
Environmentalists want to kill off Brayton Point. The Patrick administration says let the market do the dirty work.
Old-line coal plants such as Brayton Point are zombies shuffling through the Massachusetts electric market. Three coal plants in Massachusetts and Connecticut have shut down since 2011, and three other plants (one in Holyoke, and two in New Hampshire) appear to be on shaky financial ground, thanks to the flood of cheap natural gas that’s hit the market in recent years. They’re the walking dead, groaning and rotting and less than fully alive. And, as Brayton Point shows, they can be surprisingly tough to kill off.
Brayton Point’s new owner, the private equity firm Energy Capital Partners, recently filed for permission to close the coal plant in 2017. But the firm looks to be in the money until then.