Brayton Point shut down, but what’s next for the 300-acre site?
By Alana Cerrone
You won’t be seeing smoke coming from the Brayton Point towers anymore.
As of June 1, the last coal plant in the state of Massachusetts is shut down. Its owner, Dynegy, says electricity prices are too low and maintenance costs are just too high.
For the town, this is a sad farewell.
"We have been proud to be the community that’s hosted it," says Town Administrator Richard Brown.
Its 500-foot cooling towers have become, to some, iconic.
"I’ve heard some people say it looks like a nuclear power plant. It’s almost a landmark at this point."
But for over 50 years that landmark has also brought in hundreds of jobs and a huge chunk of the town’s revenue. In fact for the past couple of years Brayton Point has paid $4.25 million annually. But the town has been preparing since the 2013 announcement of the plant’s closing.
"The community and the staff has weathered the shortfall and been adjusting to it over a very long period of time."
But what is to become of the 300 acres of waterfront land where the plant sits? Well that’s up to Dynegy because they own it. They say they’re working with the town and they’ve already generated some interest from different companies.
Although they wouldn’t disclose what those companies were, residents have their own ideas…from parks…to clean energy facilities…to anything that brings back those lost jobs.
"I think that’s the most important thing to make sure whatever goes in its place creates jobs and stimulates the economy and hopefully keep the town running."
Over the next two months some of Brayton Point’s 170 employees will still be coming into work to decommission the plant and keep it secure.
© WLNE-TV 2017