Brayton Point’s non-price retirement (NPR) request was rejected in a Dec. 20 letter from ISO New England Inc. (ISO-NE) to EquiPower Resources Corp., owner of the 1530-MW fossil-fueled power station located in Somerset, Mass.

The NPR had been filed on Oct. 6, 2013, which triggered a regional system assessment by ISO-NE. The review found that there is a “reliability need” for Brayton Point Units 1–4. In a separate letter, ISO-NE approved the NPR request for Brayton’s four diesel units, which have generated a combined total of 161 MWh over the past two years.

ISO-NE cannot prevent a plant from being retired, however, so EquiPower has six months to respond with the company’s ultimate decision on the fate of the plant. A negotiated cost agreement could keep the plant open operating at a premium that was not available in the forward-capacity market auction, which the company had previously declined to accept, leading to the NPR request.

The ISO had previously tried to stop Dominion from shutting down the nearby Salem Harbor plant, but the company sold the plant in 2012 and the new owner is proceeding with the retirement plans anyway.

Aaron Larson, associate editor (@AaronL_Power, @POWERmagazine)