Article originally appears in the Boston Globe, March 5, 2020

by Jon Chesto, Globe Staff, Updated March 5, 2020, 8:07 p.m

The pending closure of the giant Mystic power plant is a headache for the people charged with keeping electricity flowing in Greater Boston. But for power line developers, it’s a business opportunity.

ISO New England, which oversees the region’s power grid, on Thursday said that eight developers submitted a total of 36 transmission proposals in a contest unprecedented in New England history. It boils down to this: Who can offer the best way to pick up the slack once Mystic goes away?

It’s a pressing question for anyone in Greater Boston who wants the lights to stay on. Presumably, that’s all of us. The Mystic plant — on Boston’s doorstep, just over the Mystic River in Everett — primarily uses natural gas to generate enough electricity for some two million homes. No other power plant in Massachusetts comes close to matching that output