Last Coal Power Plants In New England Will Close

Polluting New Hampshire plants to shutter in settlement with Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and Sierra Club

An angled, overhead view of the Merrimack coal station.

The settlement marks the end of coal in New England. Photo: Alex MacLean

BOSTON – In a victory for health, clean air and water, and the climate, the last New England coal-fired power plants will shut down after years of litigation and public opposition.

As part of an agreement that resolves litigation brought by CLF and the Sierra Club, Granite Shore Power has agreed to cease operation of its coal-fired boilers at Merrimack Station, the 460MW power plant on the Merrimack River in Bow, and Schiller Station (135 MW) in Portsmouth.

“The end of coal in New Hampshire, and for the New England region as a whole, is now certain and in sight,” said Tom Irwin, Vice President Conservation Law Foundation in New Hampshire. “Now we must vigorously push for the phaseout of other polluting fuels like oil and gas.  New England is positioned to be a leader in building a future where our energy comes from 100% clean sources, and fossil fuels no longer pollute the climate and threaten the health of our communities.”

Merrimack Station will cease operation of its coal-fired boilers by June 1, 2028 or under certain circumstances, June 1, 2027. Schiller will not operate its coal-fired boilers after December 31, 2025.

Two decades ago, a fifth of New England’s electricity came from coal, the dirtiest of fossil fuels. Through lawsuits, market-based strategies, and public protests, CLF has worked to shutter aging, polluting coal plants across the region and end New England’s reliance on coal.

The settlement agreement signed this morning resolves both a lawsuit brought by CLF and the Sierra Club under the Clean Water Act, currently pending before the First Circuit Court of Appeals, and advocacy by CLF and the Sierra Club blocking Clean Water Act permits for the two facilities.

“This historic victory is a testament to the strength and resolve of those who never wavered in the fight for their communities and future,” said Ben Jealous, Sierra Club Executive Director. “The people of New Hampshire and all of New England will soon breathe cleaner air and drink safer water, and I’m incredibly proud to see the region continue to grow as a leader in the clean energy transition.