A deep and earthy rumble signalled the falling of Brayton Point powerplant’s two cooling towers that have stood alongside I-195 for the past decade. Hundreds of people gathered in Kennedy Park to watch the towers’ implosion, complete with a brass band to celebrate.
Drone video courtesy of WJAR NBC 10
Kendra Anderson, of Climate Action Rhode Island, the group that organized the band and farewell party in the park, says she sees the towers falling as a symbol of the waning influence of coal power in the region.
"We’re out here today to actually celebrate," Anderson said. "It’s one of the first times we can celebrate the decommissioning of a fossil fuel plant. This was decommissioned before, but this is a symbolic implosion of the industry, it’s really a time for us to celebrate."
The cooling towers, built at a cost of $600,000,000, were imploded on Saturday morning. The company that now manages the site hopes to convert the former coal-burning powerplant into a staging area for offshore wind turbine construction.
Video by Liz Lerner / WCAI
Officials are hoping the site can also be repurposed into a connection point to the grid for offshore wind farms.
Braytion Point powerplant was officially shut down in 2017.
Valerie Martin, a teacher in Fall River, said she’s been looking forward to the towers being demolished.
"You know these are kind of iconic," Martin said. "I remember seeing them when I first drove into town and I was like, where’s the three-eyed fish? I really just wanted to see them go."
Chris Fata of Somerset said the demoltion is a relief for many residents.
"We’re originally from here, bought a house in Somerset," Fata said. "My parents can see this from their house, and it’s just an eyesore. It’ll be good that it’ll be gone."