Former Somerset Coal Plant Smokestack Imploded
The last remaining chimney at the former Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset is no more.
The 500-foot chimney at what was once the state's last remaining coal plant came down in a controlled demolition Saturday morning at around 8 a.m.
Last year, when massive twin cooling towers at the site came down, the event attracted hundreds of spectators to the shores of Mount Hope Bay. Saturday's event drew somewhat less attention.
However, many individuals did still venture out to witness and document the event.
The plant had burned coal since 1963. The facility closed in 2017 as coal, pushed out by cheaper and cleaner natural gas, struggled to compete economically within New England's six-state power grid.
Commercial Development Company, Inc. and Brayton Point LLC, developers of the property, say that Saturday's the event "removes the last remaining significant visual reference to the old power plant landscape."
They also say it marks the beginning of new operations at the Brayton Point Commerce Center's new marine terminal, known as the "Mount Hope Bay Designated Port Area."
The developers in a press release touted the marine terminal's potential for attracting new industrial and manufacturing tenants.
"Outside of the greater Boston metropolitan area, Brayton Point represents the only deep water dry bulk & large project port with significant laydown area in Massachusetts," the developers claim.
The developers have signed an agreement with transmission developer Anbaric, which plans a logistics port, manufacturing hub and support center for the offshore wind sector.
The core of that plan would be a $250 million 1200-megawatt high-voltage DC converter that would provide a tie-in for power cables from offshore wind farms planned off the coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Anbaric also plans 400 megawatts of battery storage on site.
Commercial Development Company has also signed a port operations agreement with Patriot Stevedroing and Logistics LLC.
The post-coal Brayton Point Commerce Center is already home to a metal recycling and a road salt business.
So far, those two businesses have not endeared themselves to neighbors in Somerset. Earlier this month the town's Zoning Board approved multiple restrictions that Eastern Metal Recycling and Allied Salt must adhere to if they want to keep operating. The two businesses had initially set up shop without getting permits, a move that elicited protest from residents and months of discussion by local officials.