SOMERSET, Mass. (WPRI) — The residents of Perkins Street in Somerset cheered as the Brayton Point cooling towers were demolished just 1,300 feet away from their backyards.
The neighborhood is the closest to the former Brayton Point Power Station, which closed in 2017. It was the last coal-fired power station in Massachusetts.
“You could feel the vibration from when it started, it came all the way down to us,” Ben Ortiz, who watched the implosion with neighbors on Perkins Street said. “There was a big bang.”
Ortiz said after the blast, smoke and dust billowed over the street for 15 minutes.
“This whole block was full of dust,” he said. “The dust came in quick so we were trying to run into the house. My little nephew cried because his eyes were burning.”
The tower demolition was the next step for the new owners of the land, Commercial Development Company, Inc.
The owners hope all demolition will be completed by the summer so they can move forward with their plans for the land.
The Commercial Development Company has dubbed the location the “Brayton Point Commerce Center.” They say it will be a “world-class logistical port and support center built to support renewable energy and the emerging U.S. offshore wind sector.”
Specifics for the future of the land have not been released, but according to a website promoting the site’s future, interest in the property is high from several companies. The company said announcements will be made as negotiations are finalized.
Whatever specifics take place, Ortiz said his new backyard view symbolizes the fresh start for Somerset.
“There’s going to be, I guess, more work coming to Somerset,” he said. “I hope it is.”