New England’s last coal-fired power plant, Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H., has won yet another year of guaranteed funding ($750K per month, roughly) under the annual forward capacity market, but there are signs that cheap power from renewables might be started to eat away at its finances. For the first time, it will be compensated for less than its total output: The two coal-fired units won at auction a total level of 310 megawatts rather than their maximum of 438 megawatts, the level at which they had won previous forward capacity auctions.
This comes as five of the people who blocked trains carrying coal to the plant in 2019 are going on trial for charges of trespassing. NHPR is covering the trial. (UPDATE: Four of the five were convicted; an extra charge of resisting arrest was found not guilty)
Their defense seems largely to be a moral one: the threat of climate change is so great that it overrides aspects of property ownership or business plans. That’s a compelling argument for human beings, the question is whether it will sway the ones who are sitting on the jury. I would assume not but perhaps I’ve just gotten old and cranky.
If you’re on twitter, the account @NoCoalNoGas is a good place to follow along.