Segment originally aired on WBUR, June 4, 2019


“In late April, twin 500-foot cooling towers at Brayton Point in Somerset were blown up. The coal fired power plant was the largest in New England and the last in Massachusetts. The towers had been built only a few years earlier at a cost of $600 million, but coal could not compete with cleaner burning, cheaper natural gas.

As the dust settled it was clear the days of fossil fuel power generation are numbered. Days after the towers were demolished, Massachusetts-based Anbaric Development Partners announced plans to convert part of the 300-acre site to a renewable energy center, connecting the old coal plant’s electric substation on land to a new generation of generators — offshore wind turbines that will be built along the region’s coastline.

“It’s really about transformation to the grid for use as renewables,” says Stephen Conant, manager of Anbaric’s $650 million project. “The grid we have now is built off of fossil fuels, and in order to enable offshore wind we need transmission facilities that are going to bring those megawatts to shore. The beauty of Brayton Point is that you just bring up the cable right to shore and connect it into the grid right there.”

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