The Mount Tom Power Station in Holyoke, MA, will discontinue operations and the facility will shut down this year.

The 28 employees who work at the coal-fired plant learned of the decision Monday morning. All workers will lose their jobs, but can apply for positions at other plants owned by GDF SUEZ Energy North America.

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“It was a very difficult decision for the company to make. There are many highly-skilled and dedicated employees and the plant has been in operation since 1960,” said Carol Churchill, communications manager for GDF SUEZ.

The decision was an economic one. It is difficult for an older coal-burning plant to operate efficiently, especially when compared to the newer natural gas-fired power plants. This is another in a continuing trend of phasing out older coal-fired plants and making way for a growth in natural gas burning power plants.

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GDF SUEZ has been operating the plant sporadically for three years and only during peak energy periods. It has not operated since January, she said.

Employees will have their jobs until October, he said.

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