PSEG does deal for possible retirement in 2021 of Bridgeport Harbor coal unit

Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE: PEG) said Jan. 25 in a brief statement that it has worked out a tentative deal with officials in Bridgeport, Conn., for the retirement of the Bridgeport Harbor coal unit in July 2021.

Said the statement: “We have agreed to a Community Environmental Benefit Agreement with the Mayor as well as community and environmental groups. The agreement includes benefits for the Bridgeport Community and plans for retiring of the existing coal plant. The agreement and retirement have several contingencies, including that PSEG’s proposed new gas-fired plant clears the capacity auction.”

The Bridgeport City Council has lately been studying future for the Bridgeport Harbor plant and would need to vote on this deal, possibly within the next month. Bridgeport Harbor, owned by Public Service Enterprise Group and operated by PSEG Power, has non-coal capacity and one 383-MW coal unit. There are only a handful of coal-fired units left in operation in New England, which is far from any coalfield and generally working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Said a PSEG website dedicated to the new project planned for the site: “PSEG Power Connecticut is committed to providing Connecticut with reliable and environmentally responsible energy. We are considering construction of a new clean, natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant at our existing Bridgeport Harbor Station site at 1 Atlantic Street, Bridgeport, CT. Our proposed project was not selected in the recent ISO-New England Forward Capacity Market (FCM) Auction for a 2018 delivery date.  We continue to believe that a state-of-the-art natural gas plant in Bridgeport would bring many benefits – jobs, tax revenue for Bridgeport, and reliable, clean energy for the region.”

PSEG plans to bid this capacity again into this year’s FCM auction, due to start on Feb. 8.

The project website added: “The proposed project will add 475 megawatts of highly efficient generating capacity to Connecticut’s southwestern region to ensure electric system reliability. The plant primarily will run on natural gas, but also can run on ultra-low sulfur distillate fuel oil as a back-up, ensuring fuel diversity and dependability. The proposed unit will be equipped with state-of-the-art emissions control technology and meet all applicable federal and state emissions regulations. The new plant will represent close to a $550-million investment in the local and regional economy that will provide the City of Bridgeport with significant new tax revenue and other economic benefits.”

Bridgeport Harbor is a two-unit plant with a net capacity of 400 MW (summer rating), located on Long Island Sound on the west shore of Bridgeport Harbor. Its two operating units include a coal-fired unit and a combustion turbine peaking unit that is rarely used. 

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.