News : Ratepayers Subsidizing PSNH's Addiction to Coal

Jun 6, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Herald

The nation and New Hampshire are relying less and less on coal — our dirtiest, least efficient fuel — to meet our electric power needs. PSNH recently announced it is not operating its flagship coal plant, Merrimack Station in Bow; the plant will sit completely idle for six months of 2012. The two coal boilers at PSNH's Schiller Station in Portsmouth will operate even less. Yet, PSNH customers continue to pay a premium to keep PSNH's coal plants on life support, thanks to a regulatory system that protects PSNH's interests over those of ratepayers.

Coal-fired power plants — expensive new facilities and decades-old dinosaurs like PSNH's plants alike — can't compete in today's marketplace. Investors and customers are moving toward cleaner, cheaper alternatives, principally natural gas, but also renewables (especially wind) and high-tech ways of reducing energy use. Northeast Utilities — PSNH's parent company — admits that this reality is not going away anytime soon.

Click here to read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald!