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By PBN Staff
By PBN Staff
BOSTON – ISO New England has rejected the request by Energy Capital Partners to shut down Brayton Point Power Station, claiming the 1,530-megawatt plant is critical to ensuring a reliable electricity supply to the region, the Boston Business Journal reported Thursday.
In October of last year, six months after Energy Capital Partners purchased Brayton Point from energy producer Dominion Resources Inc., the company declared the facility outmoded and announced plans to stop generating electricity by June 2017.
The notification gave ISO 90 days to conduct a reliability study of the impact Brayton Point’s closing would have on the regional grid.
According to the Boston Business Journal report, ISO concluded 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. An overload could damage equipment or cause uncontrolled outages, ISO spokeswoman Marcia Blomberg told the publication.
Although ISO cannot force Energy Capital to continue operation, the grid operator may re-open negotiations on a payment scheme to keep Brayton Point operational to provide electricity to the grid as necessary. Energy Capital has until June 20 to decide whether it will accept a price to continue operation after 2017, Blomberg said.
In the meantime, EquiPower Resources Corp., the Energy Capital subsidiary controlling the plant, has begun evaluating alternative uses for the coal-powered facility, including the option of turning Brayton Point into a natural gas plant, but the feasibility of such a conversion remains uncertain.