The state’s last coal-fired power plant stops generating electricity Thursday. 

Despite what President Trump has said about coal power, it was not government regulations that killed Brayton Point Power Plant in Somerset. 

“Low electricity prices and the high cost to maintain aging facilities led to the decision,” said David Onufer of Dynegy, the company that owns the power plant.

That low priced competition came mostly from other plants powered by inexpensive natural gas. Onufer said the decision to shut down was made back in 2013.

The news was cheered by environmental groups. 

“Coal is the past," Emily Norton, Chapter Director for the Massachusetts Chapter of the Sierra Club, said in a statement. "Clean energy is the future. With 100,000 Massachusetts workers now employed in the clean energy industry, we know that this transition is good for our health, good for our economy, and good for our kids as they graduate and seek stable, good-paying jobs." 

Conservation Law Foundation President Bradley Campbell pointed out the shutdown coincides with President Trump's expected announcement that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. “Despite the President’s best efforts, fossil fuels are on their way out," he said. "Brayton Point’s closure means Massachusetts is now coal-free, and the rest of New England will follow. We have the opportunity to lead the world in moving to a clean energy platform, but only if we fight the push by utilities and their allies to saddle New England with a new generation of natural gas pipes and plants the region does not need and families and businesses cannot afford.” 

The closure is a financial hit for the town of Somerset. Brayton Point was the town’s biggest taxpayer– contributing around $14 million a year at its peak. Town administrator Richard Brown said for the last couple years the plant has paid the town $4,250,000.

“It was a considerable part of the budget and it allowed... a small town to provide services that were equal to anything provided in a major urban area, and at a fairly low tax rate,” he said. 

The closure also means a loss of jobs in the area. The plant had about 170 employees. Dynegy says it has hired some of those workers in other plants, and is providing career training for other workers.

"Some of them have been there all their careers," said Brown. "And even though there will be some training opportunities there's not a lot of opportunity for people who operated power plants, especially if they want to remain in the area."

Brown said there will now have to be tax increases in Somerset, and the town will focus on providing services "as efficiently and effectively as we possibly can."

The future of the property, and what its use would mean for the local community, is still up in the air.

"Economics don't really support Dynegy converting the plant to gas or other forms of energy generation," said Onufer. "There are no plans by Dynegy to redevelop the property."

Onufer said the company will continue to listen to "interested parties" with ideas of what the property should become.