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Somerset power plant shuts down, idling 52 workers

Matthew D. Wilson

New York State's last coal-burning electric generating plant is officially shutting down Tuesday.

Somerset Operating Company is taking its power plant on the shore of Lake Ontario in Niagara County out of service.

The plant, which was opened in 1983 by New York State Electric and Gas, had a capacity of 675 megawatts. It burned off the remainder of its coal on March 13 and finished generating electricity that night. It has operated only sporadically during the past five years.

Last week, 30 hourly employees deemed non-essential in the COVID-19 pandemic were furloughed. Some others are working from home. A total of 52 workers will be terminated due to the shutdown.

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.
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