Brayton Point to close in 2017, despite grid-stability concerns

The owner of Brayton Point Power Station will shut down the 1,530-megawatt plant as planned by June 2017, despite ISO New England’s recent ruling that Brayton Point is critical for grid stability, Boston.com reported Monday. More

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Brayton Point to close in 2017, despite grid-stability concerns

COURTESY DOMINION RESOURCES INC.
ENERGY CAPITAL PARTNERS announced Monday that it intends to proceed with plans to shut down Brayton Point Power Station by June 2017, despite an ISO New England report concluding that closure of the coal plant could cause power lines to overheat, potentially resulting in damage to the grid or power outages.
Posted 1/27/14

SOMERSET – The owner of Brayton Point Power Station will shut down the 1,530-megawatt plant as planned by June 2017, despite ISO New England’s recent ruling that Brayton Point is critical for grid stability, Boston.com reported Monday.

In a statement, plant owner Energy Capital Partners cited competition from cheap natural gas, rising environmental regulation compliance costs, and the age of the half-century-old coal plant as reasons for the decision to shutter Brayton Point, first announced in October of last year.

“It is a very unfortunate and difficult reality that Brayton Point is an aging coal power plant under growing economic pressures,” Energy Capital Partners wrote in the statement. “It would be imprudent to create false expectations about the long-term prospects for Brayton.”

Grid operator ISO had concluded in a reliability study released earlier this month that the grid could experience thermal overloading caused by the redirection of power from other locations if Brayton Point’s four main turbines were shut down. Such an overload could damage equipment or cause uncontrolled outages.

After Monday’s announcement that Energy Capital Partners intended to go forward with plans to close the plant, however, ISO representatives told Boston.com that the grid operator and will have “special transmission operating plans in place to deal with unexpected transmission or generation outages.”

Although the closure of Brayton Point will likely mean higher electricity prices for consumers, Boston.com said, the full impact of the decision to shut down the plan is uncertain.

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