PSEG exits coal-fired power with Bridgeport Harbor Station retirement

The plug has been pulled on the final coal-fired power plant in both Connecticut and a utility’s generation fleet.

PSEG Power retired its Bridgeport Harbor Station Unit 3 on Monday. This shutdown completed PSEG’s coal-exit strategy as the New Jersey based subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group focuses on nuclear and renewables to reach net-zero carbon emissions.

Harbor Station’s 400-MW Unit 3 had been in operation since it was placed into service 53 years ago. It was shifted from dual-fuel to purely coal-fired generation in 2022.

PSEG commissioned a 485-MW gas-fired power plant – BHS 5 – to replace Unit 3’s capacity in 2019.

“The retirement of Bridgeport Harbor Station Unit 3 marks the end of an era for the City of Bridgeport and the citizens who relied on its power,” PSEG Chairman, President and CEO Ralph Izzo said. “I’m grateful to the generations of employees who operated this unit safely and reliably for more than 50 years, and to the entire Bridgeport community for their support.”

“For PSEG, the retirement of BHS 3 marks the end of our company’s coal era, reflecting a nationwide trend toward the use of cleaner fuels to generate the electricity we need to power our lives. Newer, more economic and highly efficient power plants like BHS 5 will play a critical role in shrinking our carbon footprint as we address the challenges of climate change and help set Connecticut on a path toward its cleaner energy future,” Izzo said.

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Bridgeport Harbor Station 3 was hardly utilized in its final years of operation, for only two days in 2020 and not at all in 2019. This year, however, it helped deal with a major cold streak by delivering two uninterrupted months of additional power to the Connecticut grid.

Nuclear and natural gas now generate nearly all of Connecticut’s utility-scale electricity, according to reports. Coal was close to 10 percent of that mix more than a decade ago, but the resource has been phased out as the state pursues low or zero-carbon goals.

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