The plant cannot be converted to natural gas as the HG&E doesn't have the infrastructure for a large consumer like that, they'ed have to run like a 10" or bigger gas line to the plant, have a couple of booster stations and some jugs just to make it operable. The city most likely afford that kind of project. Let's not forget that the plant was built in 1958 and went commercial in 1960. The plant is a simple (Rankine) cycle with a poor heat rate as well, so the economics of converting to gas are just not there. Trying to change over to wood chip or "biocoal" isn't practical either because the fuel (pulverized coal) is burned in suspension, and there is no grate in the furnace on which to support the combustion process, so that idea is out too. It appears to me that closure is inevitable. I sure will miss her, she was a great plant, tough to operate; but engineered and built really really well, it's a crying shame. The real kicker is that the "Northern Pass project" that will force almost all of the plants out of business in New England will be powered by coal plants just north of the border owned by Quebec Hydro, and these plants don't have any of the emission control equipment that the Mt. Tom or Somerset plants have. So we are just outsourcing the pollution. But I digress, back to talking about trains now.