New England to become the second coal-free region in the US

New England to become the second coal-free region in the US

Both of New Hampshire’s coal plants are shutting, making New England the second coal-free region in the US.

That’s following a settlement between Sierra Club, The Conservation Law Foundation, EPA, and Granite Shore Power. The Bow, New Hampshire-based power station has committed to retiring the coal-burning units at Merrimack and Schiller Stations in New Hampshire, by 2028 and 2025, respectively. 

Schiller Station (pictured), which is on the coast, will host a solar and battery storage system. It will be integral in supporting reliability daily during peak hours and acting as storage for the wind power now being built off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard and in the Gulf of Maine.

That will make New Hampshire the 16th coal-free state. New England is the nation’s second entirely coal-free region, following the Pacific Northwest.

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of persistence and dedication from people across New England who knew coal was a dirty, expensive, and unreliable source of energy that would cut people’s lives short, and that a better way was possible for our economy, for our health, and for our planet,” said Gina McCarthy, Bloomberg Philanthropies senior advisor and former White House national climate advisor.

With the retirement of all eight coal plants in the region, 2.9 GW of coal will have been taken offline, a reduction of 15.6 million tons of carbon emissions from New England. That’s equivalent to taking more than 3.1 million cars off the road for a year. There’s almost 33 GW of wind, solar, and storage planned for New England.

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Beyond Carbon and the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign have successfully secured the retirement of 72% of coal-fired power plants in the US – 381 out of 530 plants.

Read more: West Virginia brings first of 5 solar farms online – why that matters

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