Operations suspended at coal-fired power plant in New Hampshire

Public Service of New Hampshire suspended operations at its 460 MW Merrimack coal-fired power plant saying that it is cheaper to buy the electricity on the open market, according to the Chicago Tribune.

A company spokesman was quoted as saying in the article that an oversupply of natural gas and a drop in gas prices are the main reasons behind the plant going offline.

The company said Merrimack has been running as a peaking plant and does not expect the plant to produce much energy from April through June and again from September through November, the article said.

In 2005, Merrimack’s Unit 1 had a capacity factor of 98 percent and Unit 2 was operating at 68 percent. That fell to 64 percent and 49 percent, respectively, in 2011 and is expected to drop further in 2012, according to the article.

The company has invested $360 million on a mercury scrubber and plans to spend a total of $422 million in upgrades.

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