October 8, 2013 / 5:50 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-EquiPower to shut Brayton Point, Mass. coal power plant in 2017

Oct 8 (Reuters) - A unit of privately held investment firm Energy Capital Partners said Tuesday it will close its recently acquired 1,492-megawatt Brayton Point coal/oil-fired power plant in Massachusetts as of May 2017.

In a statement, EquiPower Resources, the Energy Capital Partners unit, said it notified ISO New England, the regional power grid operator, of its decision on Monday.

EquiPower said it decided to shut the plant because of low electricity prices resulting from a surplus of low cost natural gas and the high cost of investment needed to meet environmental regulations and operate and maintain the aging plant.

The company also said it was not able to secure adequate revenue in ISO New England’s forward capacity market, which pays generators to keep their plants available for reliability reasons.

“We understand the impacts that this decision to retire Brayton Point will have on the employees, local community and other stakeholders and we will work to mitigate those impacts to the extent possible,” Curt Morgan, CEO and President of Brayton Point Energy LLC, said in the statement.

“We regret that we were not able to obtain approval from ISO New England to participate in the ISO New England forward capacity market at price levels that would allow Brayton Point to remain viable,” Morgan said.

Brayton Point employs about 240 workers.

EquiPower acquired Brayton Point and two other power plants in Illinois from Dominion Resources Inc in late August for $650 million.

The plant is located in Somerset about 50 miles (80 km) south of Boston. It has three coal-fired units, one large oil-fired unit and several smaller oil-fired units, which entered service between 1963 and 1974.

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