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article imageCooling towers to come down, making way for wind turbine assembly

By Karen Graham     Apr 24, 2019 in Business
Commercial Development Company and Brayton Point LLC, the owner of the retired Brayton Point Power Station, announced the two cooling towers will be brought down by implosion on Saturday to make way for wind turbine assembly.
The coal-fired Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset, Massachusetts was the largest coal-fired generating station in New England until it was retired on June 1, 2017.
The massive plant set on a 306-acre site and employed 262 people who kept the four generating units going to send power to 1.5 million homes. It has been estimated that Brayton Point burned 40,000 tons of coal in three days, and fresh supplies were brought by barge every four days. The coal was brought from Colombia, Kentucky, and Colorado.
In 2013, Energy Capital Partners, a private equity firm purchased the 1,500-megawatt power plant from Dominion Energy. But due to low electricity prices as well as high costs to meet environmental standards, the new owners said they would shut down the facility by 2017. It was the last coal-fired power station in Massachusetts
On acquiring Brayton Point  Dominion began construction of two 500-foot cooling towers in 2009 to im...
On acquiring Brayton Point, Dominion began construction of two 500-foot cooling towers in 2009 to improve water consumption and reduce waste. They were completed in 2013.
Dominion Energy
A new lease on life
Since the plant's closure in 2017, it has set idle. A new company called the Community Development Company Inc. (CDC) is already planning to give the site a new lease on life as an area where offshore wind turbines can be assembled before they're shipped out to sea.
"The quayside here is about 750 feet long, and there are 34 feet of water depth, which is deep enough to handle the ocean-going ships," said Steve Collins, Executive Vice President of the company.
Bill White, formerly the senior director of the state’s Clean Energy Center, said his organization looked at a number of power plant sites around the state, and Brayton Point, with its access to the ocean, made it unique and a perfect place for the incoming offshore wind industry.
"What's remarkable about this site is it's 307 acres, it's probably the largest industrially-zoned location on the east coast that's currently available for this type of activity: offshore wind," White said. Having said that, remember that wind turbines can stand over 50 stories high, so a lot of space is needed for the assembly process.
The blades for the turbines used at the Block Island Wind Farm came from Denmark  and special tracto...
The blades for the turbines used at the Block Island Wind Farm came from Denmark, and special tractor-trailers were needed that could support their weight. Here's one zipping down a Danish highway.
Deepwater Wind
The cooling towers
The two towers look like something you would see at a nuclear power plant. They stand 500-feet high - silent sentinels to a form of energy that is being replaced with a more environmentally friendly source. CDC received suggestions to use the towers for bungee jumping or to even rent them to movie companies.
But the company decided, in the end, to let poetic justice rule the day. The towers are set to be imploded at around 8 a.m. in the morning on Saturday, April 27. The towers will be brought down simultaneously by a controlled implosion and will crumble to the ground in less than 10 seconds, according to CDC.
The public is invited to view the demolition from a number of sites around Fall River, including Kennedy Park. For more information, the town of Somerset has a website - IMPLOSION ACTIVITIES - INFORMATION & FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.
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