The owner of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station said Tuesday morning it plans to shutter the 43-year-old plant by June 2019, a big financial blow to the town of Plymouth and a major headache for the Baker administration as it tries to reduce the cost of electricity and meet the state’s clean energy goals.

Louisiana-based Entergy Corp. said it was closing the 680-megawatt plant because of poor market conditions, reduced revenues, and increased operational costs. Specifically, the company said it was facing higher costs to upgrade the plant’s lowest-in-the nation safety rating. The firm also said low natural gas prices, brought about by increased shale gas production, had driven down “current and forecast power prices” by $10 a megawatt hour, resulting in a $40 million drop in revenues for Pilgrim.

“Market conditions and increased costs led us reluctantly to conclude that we had no option other than to shut down the plant,” said Leo Denault, Entergy’s chairman and CEO.

According to the Globe, Pilgrim employs about 600 people and provides Plymouth with $10 million a year and other benefits. The Globe also reported that Pilgrim supplies 5 percent of the region’s electricity but accounts for 84 percent of the state’s non-carbon emitting energy.

The plant’s closing will make it far more difficult for the state to meet its target of cutting carbon emissions 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. Baker administration officials have been worried that a Pilgrim closing would force them to rely more on expensive solar and wind power to meet the state’s emission targets.

In the press release announcing the plant closing, Entergy took some shots at regional and state regulators. The company said “wholesale energy market design flaws” did not provide adequate compensation to nuclear plants for their supply of “reliable, carbon-free, large-scale, 24/7 energy generation.”

The company also said its economic performance had been undermined by “unfavorable state energy proposals.” For example, Entergy said the state subsidizes renewable energy resources at the expense of plants like Pilgrim. It blamed a Baker administration proposal to provide “above-market prices” to utilities in Canada for delivery of hydropower to the region. And it appeared to criticize the state Department of Public Utilities for a decision opening the door to ratepayer subsidies for natural gas pipeline infrastructure, which Entergy said would “further lower the price of natural gas and increase the region’s reliance on it.”




A 911 dispatcher in Lawrence sues Police Chief James Fitzpatrick and Mayor Daniel Rivera for defamation. (Eagle-Tribune)

A Lowell police officer suspended for snoozing on the job has been down this road before. (The Sun)

Voters in Middleboro approved the transfer of oversight of the tourism committee from the selectmen to the town moderator because of growing tension between the two boards. (The Enterprise)

Boston city officials and activists discuss racial equity in hiring. (Bay State Banner)


A Green Beret from Milton is facing discharge for beating up an Afghan commander who had chained a small boy to his bed and repeatedly raped him. (WBUR)

The federal Water and Land Conservation Fund lost its funding in a budget battle in Congress, and environmentalists say the country’s preservation efforts will suffer as a result. (Gloucester Times)

A new California law bans schools from using “Redskins” as a team mascot. (Time)


It’s showtime in Las Vegas! The Democratic presidential contenders take the stage tonight for their first debate, with plenty of pressure on frontrunner Hillary Clinton. (Boston Globe) Some say it will come down to a Clinton-Sanders contrast, with Bernie Sanders the one rival giving Clinton serious trouble in polls. (Boston Herald)

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse and one of his challengers Fran O’Connell tussle over a bill that would allow the city to shut off water/sewer services to people who have not paid their bills. (MassLive)

Marlborough Mayor Arthur Vigeant will face Edward “Skee” Bigelow, a former fire chief, in the city’s mayoral election. (MetroWest Daily News)


The region takes stock of news that data storage giant EMC Corp. will be acquired by Texas-based Dell computers. (Boston Globe) Hiawatha Bray laments the fact that the Boston area is filled with lots tech-savvy brainpower, yet “our state’s business community seems unable to sustain a single top-tier tech company.” (Boston Globe)

AFL-CIO President Steve Tolman says the actions of four Teamsters charged with intimidating a television production crew should not reflect on all union members. (Keller@Large)

It’s good to be king: Anheuser-Busch InBev, the maker of Budweiser, has reached a deal to take over its chief rival SABMiller, which produces Miller beer, for $104 billion. (New York Times)

The Berkshire Eagle laments Pittsfield’s loss of SABIC, a multinational petrochemical firm.


Pioneer Institute’s Jim Stergios says the school receivership in Lawrence is running out of steam and the state ought to consider the New Orleans model of turning the district over to charter school operators. (CommonWealth)

A Boston Herald editorial urges the state to stick with MCAS and not adopt the new Common Core-aligned PARCC test next month.

Despite all the talk of backlash against Common Core, the effort to push the Common Core standards not only isn’t in trouble, it has quietly won, writes Politico‘s Kimberly Hefling.

Despite a promise to crackdown on “bad actors,” the federal Department of Education continues to pay billions to for-profit colleges that are accused of fraud, substandard performance, or other illegal activity. (New York Times)


Reports of Cape Wind’s demise may be premature, an official with the offshore wind developer says. (North American Wind Power)


Joan Vennochi says Democratic pols have been pretty meek in their condemnation of alleged Teamsters thuggery in recent federal indictments. (Boston Globe)

Freetown and state environmental police arrested three men for spray painting a swastika on Profile Rock, a 50-foot outcropping in the state forest that the Wampanoag tribe believe is the face of Chief Massasoit. (Herald News)

Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham says a former medical examiner wrote in official notes that he felt “bullied” by the office of Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan to maintain a finding of “homicide” as the cause of death in the case of a 6-month-old Malden baby even after he felt new evidence made such a conclusion impossible.

The Bristol District Attorney‘s office has created an office to investigate and prosecute financial abuse of the elderly, a growing concern in the region. (Standard-Times)

The Yarmouth Police Department is looking into building an outdoor kennel for their K-9 partners to avoid keeping them in cars while their handlers are in court or elsewhere. Many police dogs nationwide die each year from heat exhaustion or freezing temperatures when climate controls malfunction. (Cape Cod Times)


Twitter is set to announce a major round of layoffs this week. (Boston Business Journal)

Playboy is the latest to fall victim to the Internet as the venerable men’s magazine will cease publishing pictures of nude women because more graphic photos are just a click away on the web for free. (New York Times)