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Brayton Point power plant to be sold soon; buyer will determine site’s future use

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SOMERSET, Mass. (WPRI) — The now-shuttered Brayton Point Power Station is close to being sold to another company, a spokesperson for the current owner told Eyewitness News.

David Byford, a spokesperson for Houston-based Dynegy, says the company has selected a bidder and will name the buyer once a contract is signed. The buyer will determine how the 234-acre waterfront site will be redeveloped, Byford said.

The impending sale was first reported by the Fall River Herald News.

The power plant shut down on May 31 after more than 50 years in operation. It was the last coal-burning power plant left in Massachusetts, churning out enough power to fuel 1.5 million homes. In more recent years, enormous twin cooling towers were built on the property. The pair can be seen for miles and have long been considered a eyesore to community members.

The future of the property is still unclear, including whether the towers will be torn down.  A study commissioned by the town of Somerset and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center in 2015 fleshed out three possible scenarios for the site after soliciting input from the public.

The scenarios included a natural gas power plant, a clean energy site with a solar and/or wind farm, or a marine industrial park that could include a cargo port and smaller solar farm. That third industrial park option would net the most jobs, according to the study.

Jobs losses were one the concerns for town officials back when the plant shut down. At the time, Dynegy employed 170 workers there. Now, according to Byford, 15 Dynegy employees work at the site. An additional 50 contractors are working on decommissioning activities.

State Sen. Michael Rodrigues, a Democrat who represents Somerset, confirmed Wednesday the company buying the property is based in St. Louis. He said the buyer plans to clean up the site and prepare it for redevelopment.

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