FILE – The Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H., is seen in this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo. New England’s last coal plant will permanently stop operating in 2028 under a settlement agreement signed Wednesday, March 27, 2024. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, files)

By Michael Casey

BOSTON (AP) — The last coal-fired power plant in New England, which had been the focus of a lawsuit and protests, is set to close in a victory for environmentalists.

Granite Shore Power said Wednesday it reached an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to close the Merrimack Station in New Hampshire by June 2028. As part of the deal, the company said the site will be turned into the state’s first renewable energy park that host solar power and battery storage systems. The company also said it would shutter Schiller Station in Portsmouth in December 2025. That facility, which is permitted to use oil, coal and biomass, has not operated for several years.

“From our earliest days as owners and operators, we have been crystal clear; while our power occasionally is still on during New England’s warmest days and coldest nights, we were firmly committed to transitioning our facilities away from coal and into a newer, cleaner energy future,” Jim Andrews, CEO of Granite Shore Power, said in a statement. “By pursuing and ultimately entering into this voluntary agreement with the EPA, we are keeping that commitment.”

  • 0067 PFM SaskWorks Payroll Investment Plan
    0067 PFM SaskWorks Payroll Investment Plan
  • 0066 WBPC Promo video 30 seconds
    0066 WBPC Promo video 30 seconds
  • 0065 Anova Resources field operator Oxbow
    0065 Anova Resources field operator Oxbow
  • 0064 Estevan OTS
    0064 Estevan OTS
  • 0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
    0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
  • 0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
    0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
  • 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
    0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
  • 0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
    0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
  • 0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
    0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
  • 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
    0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
  • 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
    0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
  • 0053 Kingston Midstream Westspur Alameda Click Before You Dig large text
    0053 Kingston Midstream Westspur Alameda Click Before You Dig large text
  • 0052 Predator Inspections
    0052 Predator Inspections
  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0015 Latus Viro
    0015 Latus Viro
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 0002 gilliss casing services
    0002 gilliss casing services
  • 9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
    9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
  • 9001

 

The 460-megawatt station in Bow has long been a thorn in the side of environmental groups. Most recently, the Sierra Club and the Conservation Law Foundation filed a lawsuit against plant owners, alleging it was violating the Clean Water Act. The plant was owned by Eversource until 2018, when it was sold to Connecticut-based Granite Shore Power. Both were named as defendants.

The environmental groups claimed the plant draws about 287 million gallons (1.1 billion liters) of water per day from the Merrimack River, heats that water as a result of its cooling process, and then discharges the water back into the river at temperatures that often exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius).

Climate activists also protested the plant and demanded its closure over concerns it is a major source of air pollution. In one incident, climate activists last year paddled canoes and kayaks down the Merrimack River to the plant site and were arrested after going onto the property.

“This historic victory is a testament to the strength and resolve of those who never wavered in the fight for their communities and future,” Ben Jealous, Sierra Club Executive Director, said in a statement. “The people of New Hampshire and all of New England will soon breathe cleaner air and drink safer water.”

The Sierra Club said the announcement will make New Hampshire the 16th state that is coal-free and New England the second coal-free region in the country. Still, a majority of the region’s energy comes from natural gas. The main ingredient in natural gas is methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes significantly to global warming.

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of persistence and dedication from people across New England who knew coal was a dirty, expensive, and unreliable source of energy that would cut people’s lives short, and that a better way was possible for our economy, for our health, and for our planet,” said Gina McCarthy, Bloomberg Philanthropies Senior Advisor and former White House National Climate Advisor. “I am wicked proud to be from New England today and every day.”

News from © The Canadian Press, 2024. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

  • 0067 PFM SaskWorks Payroll Investment Plan
    0067 PFM SaskWorks Payroll Investment Plan
  • 0066 WBPC Promo video 30 seconds
    0066 WBPC Promo video 30 seconds
  • 0065 Anova Resources field operator Oxbow
    0065 Anova Resources field operator Oxbow
  • 0064 Estevan OTS
    0064 Estevan OTS
  • 0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
    0063 Turnbull Excavating hiring crusher
  • 0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
    0062 TED_EPAC_Technology_30
  • 0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
    0061 SIMSA 2024 For Sask Buy Sask
  • 0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
    0060 Arizona Lithium Lease building
  • 0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
    0059 Southeast College Heavy Equipment Operator
  • 0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
    0058 Royal Helium Steveville opens anonymous rocket
  • 0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
    0055 Smart Power Be Smart with your Power office
  • 0053 Kingston Midstream Westspur Alameda Click Before You Dig large text
    0053 Kingston Midstream Westspur Alameda Click Before You Dig large text
  • 0052 Predator Inspections
    0052 Predator Inspections
  • 0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
    0051 JML Hiring Pumpjack assembly
  • 0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
    0049 Scotsburn Dental soft guitar
  • 0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
    0046 City of Estevan This is Estevan
  • 0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
    0041 DEEP Since 2018 now we are going to build
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0015 Latus Viro
    0015 Latus Viro
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 0002 gilliss casing services
    0002 gilliss casing services
  • 9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
    9002 Pipeline Online 30 sec EBEX
  • 9001