EPA, utility strike deal to shut down last Northeast coal plants

By Jack Quinn | 03/28/2024 06:47 AM EDT

The decision comes amid a national debate about the role of fossil fuels in avoiding power shortages.

A plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station.

A plume of steam billowing from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, New Hampshire. Jim Cole, File/AP

A New Hampshire utility announced Wednesday the closure of New England’s last remaining coal plant, stirring a debate about whether fossil fuels are needed to stabilize the region’s grid.

Granite Shore Power said it reached an agreement with EPA committing to the voluntary closure of the Merrimack Station plant in Bow, New Hampshire, as well as the retirement of the currently dormant Schiller Station coal plant in Portsmouth in the state. The company said it plans to build large “renewable energy parks” that would also host battery storage facilities at the former coal sites.

Under the plan, the 460-megawatt Merrimack facility is expected to shutter by June 1, 2028, while the 100-MW Schiller would close by June 1, 2025.


The agreement “provides a clear path to cleaner, healthier communities in New England in a way that provides economic and regulatory certainty to the company,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator David Cash in a written statement to E&E News.