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Chimneys at Brayton Point toppled to make way for wind energy port

Three of the four chimneys at the former Brayton Point power plant are no more.Globe Staff/File

After over 50 years, three of the four chimneys at Somerset’s Brayton Point power plant were toppled Sunday morning as small charges of dynamite went off.

According to a video provided to the Globe, the dynamite exploded and the three chimneys fell one after the other.

This demolition is one of a series that have occurred since September to make way for a new type of energy site led by Commercial Development Company Inc., which bought the plant in January 2018, said Steve Collins, executive vice president of the company.

“We expect to develop the site as a port logistics center serving the wind energy sector,” Collins said.


CDC bought the site from Dynegy Inc., which had shut it down in 2017. The company plans on clearing 90 percent of the old Brayton Point site to make way for the Brayton Point Commerce Center, Collins said, which will be the name of the hub to support the country’s offshore wind energy sector.

New England Power Company bought the land for the plant in 1957, the Globe reported on Feb. 14 of that year. Service began in 1963. The power generation plant burned massive amounts of coal and oil at different points in its life, until it was officially closed in May 2017, The Herald News reported.

Since service started in 1963, Collins said, it was the largest employer and tax base for the town of Somerset, Collins said. In changing the nature of the site, it’s important to CDC to keep the value it holds to the community, he said.

“The community is very supportive of the redevelopment,” he said. “It was the largest employer and taxpayer in Somerset for many years, for more than 50 years, and we want to redevelop that.”

CDC picked Brayton Point as the location for this project due to the water access it has, how close highways are, its close proximity to wind farms that are off of Cape Cod, and its connection to the power grid, Collins said.


Demolition is set to continue on April 27, when the cooling towers will be demolished.

Breanne Kovatch can be reached at breanne.kovatch@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @breannekovatch.