PSNH’s Bow power plant temporarily shut down

Public Service of New Hampshire suspended operations at Merrimack Station, its flagship, coal-fired power plant in located in Bow because it is cheaper to buy the electricity it needs to serve its estimated 500,000 customers on the open market, a company spokesman and a state utility regulator said Monday.

An oversupply of natural gas and steep drop in natural gas prices are the primary driver behind the Merrimack Station going off-line, PSNH spokesman Martin Murray said. Weather and stagnant growth in energy demand due to an economy still flagging from the recession are other factors, he added.

“The market price for energy is at a low that no one anticipated and that has everything to do with natural gas,” Murray added. “Until recently, Merrimack Station for decades has been a base load plant which means — for reliability and economic price — it always ran, which is 24/7,” Murray explained.

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