Dominion Energy last week told ISO New England, the power grid operator for six New England states, that it could shutter its 60-year-old 738-MW Salem Harbor coal- and oil-fired power plant in Massachusetts by June 2014 to avoid retrofitting the facility with expensive pollution controls required by federal environmental regulations.
According to the Gloucester Times, Dominion said it would retire the plant when the 2013-2014 forward capacity contract ends if it could not recover the cost of upgrades needed after that date. The independent system operator has 90 days to perform a reliability study to determine if any of the plant’s three units will be needed after 2014.
Dominion spokesman Dan Genest told Reuters that if the ISO says it cannot shut the plant, the company would enter into negotiations with the grid operator for a cost of service agreement. “If we accept it, the plant would continue to operate at least through June 1, 2015. If not, we would retire the units June 1, 2014,” he said.