Transitioning from Coal to Solar: New England’s Energy Transformation Journey

Greetings all, your resident solar expert here with some heartening news! New Hampshire just became the 16th coal-free state and it’s bringing solar power to the forefront. Two coal plants, Merrimack Station in Bow, and Schiller Station in Portsmouth, will be retired, making way for a new era of clean and renewable energy in the form of a solar array for home and commercial use.

This is a significant win for the Sierra Club, which has been championing the transition from coal to solar for over a decade with their Beyond Coal campaign. That’s right! The campaign’s tireless efforts have resulted in the retirement of not one, but two coal plants – making them the 380th and 381st to shut their doors in favor of renewable energy.

The first-of-their-kind renewable energy parks in New Hampshire are set to replace the fossil-fuel derived power with two distinctive solutions. Schiller Station will give space to a battery energy storage system (BESS), storing energy generated off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard and in the Gulf of Maine. This BESS will support grid reliability for the Seacoast region, bringing a new era of clean and renewable power to the locals.

That’s not all. The Merrimack Station plant is earmarked for an equally exciting transition. This peaker plant, which provided quick supply during periods of high electricity demand, will be replaced by a cutting-edge “clean energy center”. This, dear friends, is where you get to incorporate solar panels for your home or get connected to the solar array for efficient, eco-friendly, and cost-effective power.

Now, you might be wondering why many are up in arms about the transition from coal power plants to alternate energy sources. For one, these coal power plants are a primary source of air pollution. Merrimack Station, for instance, was found exceeding EPA emissions limits by 70%, contributing to poor air quality in the area. By replacing these coal power plants with solar power, air pollution is significantly reduced, contributing to the overall wellbeing of New Hampshire’s citizens and even the planet!

It’s always inspiring to see not only the growth of solar panels for home use but also on a larger scale in the renewable energy sector. More and more solar companies are pushing the envelope by creating efficient and affordable solutions that have the potential to replace fossil fuels. These developments in the solar industry have a ripple effect. As more states transition towards renewable energy, solar companies continue to innovate, making solar power a practical and accessible solution for all.

The people of New Hampshire are on a path to breathing cleaner air, drinking safer water, and harnessing clean, renewable energy. So when you’re considering solar for your home or your business, remember it’s not just about saving on energy costs. It’s about contributing to a healthier planet, and a brighter future. In the world of solar, every panel counts. Here’s to New Hampshire leading the way in clean energy, and here’s hoping more states follow suit!

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