TMLP History

  • 1886 Generating Station
    1886 - Taunton Electric Lighting Company Generating Station
  • Weir Street
    1889 - View of Weir Street from the city square during celebration of the 250th Anniversary of Taunton's founding
  • 1908 Generating Station
    1908 - TMLP Generating Station
  • 1908 Vertical Generator
    1908 - Vertical Turbine Generator
  • 1911 TMLP
    March 3, 1911 - TMLP by moonlight. Photographer L.H. Benton used a one-hour exposure.
  • 1920s Green
    1920's - Taunton Green
  • Light Post
    1939 - During Taunton's 300th Anniversary celebration, TMLP installed new street lights throughout the city
  • Court Street
    1940's - The Court Street substation in operation
  • Old Entrance
    Mid 1940's - TMLP Customer Lobby
  • Billing Department
    Mid-1940's - Billing Department
  • Taunton Green 1947
    1947 - Taunton Green decorated for the Christmas season
  • Taunton Green 1948
    1948 - Taunton Green as "The Christmas City"
  • Managers 1949
    1949 - TMLP Managerial Staff
  • Service Trucks
    1950's - Part of TMLP's truck fleet
  • Bob Heap
    1950's - Bob Heap, Line Department Dispatcher at work
  • Bob Heap
    1950's - TMLP front office display of appliances for sale
  • West Water Street 1954
    1954 - West Water Street becomes a literal name after Hurricanes "Carol" and "Edna."
  • Response Team 1954
    1954 - TMLP vehicle fleet mobilized to begin repair work after heavy damage sustained from hurricanes
  • Workers
    1957 - Crew working at East Taunton substation serving Middleboro
  • Stack Construction
    April 3, 1957 - Building the new Unit 7 stack at the West Water Street facility
  • Unit 7
    May 31, 1957 - Construction of the Unit 7 boiler underway at the West Water Street facility
  • Unit 7
    July 3, 1957 - Construction of Unit 7 underway at the West Water Street facility
  • WWS Aerial Shot
    1957 - Aerial shot of Unit 7 construction underway at the West Water Street facility
  • Generator Installation
    August 23, 1957 - Unit 7 Generator is craned into its new home at the West Water Street facility
  • Repair Truck
    1958 - Repair Truck out in the field
  • West Water Street 1958
    1958 - Turbine-generator Unit Number 7 operational at the West Water Street facility
  • West Water Street 1958
    1958 - TMLP General Manager Carroll A. Oliver (left) inspects switch gear at the 500 West Water Street facility
  • Hole Puncher
    1960 - First automatic pole hole digger in operation
  • Middleboro Line
    1960 - East Taunton Substation 22 kv line to Middleboro
  • Telephone Box
    1961 - Roger Kingsley inspecting telephone connections at the 500 West Water Street facility
  • Unit 8
    1964 - Construction of Unit 8 at the new Cleary-Flood Generating Station underway
  • Pole Replacement
    July 6, 1970 - Pole replacement underway at the corner of Winthrop Street and Warner Boulevard
  • Steam Line Construction
    Mid-70's - Constructing an industrial steam distribution line from the generating station to General Electric
  • Unit 9
    1973 - Construction of Unit 9 underway at Cleary-Flood generating station
  • Unit 9
    1973 - Construction of Unit 9 underway at Cleary-Flood generating station
  • Unit 9
    1973 - Construction of Unit 9 underway at Cleary-Flood generating station
  • Unit 9
    1973 - Unit 9 turbine rotor prior to shell assembly at Cleary-Flood generating station
  • Unit 9
    1973 - Construction of Unit 9 underway at Cleary-Flood generating station
  • Unit 9
    1973 - Construction of Unit 9 underway at Cleary-Flood generating station
  • Unit 9 Oil
    1973 - Oil tank at Cleary-Flood generating station prior to rustproof painting
  • TMLP Clock
    1984 - TMLP Clock on Main Street
  • Cleary-Flood
    1984 - Cleary-Flood Generating Station on Somerset Avenue
  • Unit 9
    1984 - Unit #9, 90-MegaWatt steam turbine at the Cleary-Flood Generating Station
  • Green Banner
    1987 - TMLP hangs commemorative banner on Taunton Green
  • Electric Vehicle
    1994 - TMLP's all-electric, zero-emissions van
  • West Water Street 1994
    1994 - The decommissioned plant at 500 West Water Street
  • Electrical Safety
    1996 - Ernie Fresta teaching Electrical Safety at Taunton Public Schools
  • 97 Open House
    1997 - Demonstrating equipment at TMLP's 1997 Open House

When Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant (TMLP) began operating as a municipal electric utility in 1897, it already had 15 years experience providing electricity to customers in the business section of Taunton.

TMLP's predecessor, the Taunton Electric Lighting Company, was created as a business venture by several Taunton entrepreneurs who provided the funding for a 100' x 75' wooden structure on Mechanics Lane which contained a 60-horsepower engine, boiler and dynamo machines to illuminate 35 to 40 lights in the Main Street/City Square area.

Service began on a small scale, with 22 customers with one, two or three arc lights. Electricity was available from one hour before sunset until 10 p.m. each night except Saturday when electricity was provided until 11 p.m. By September 1892, 18 stores around the Green had electricity and streetlights were lit on Broadway, Main Street and City Square.

Taunton Electric Lighting Company made it possible for the first electric cars to start service from the Green to Whittenton and back on April 30, 1893. Service was later extended to Weir Street and back. By then, the company was generating enough power to illuminate 84 streetlights and 2000 incandescent lights throughout the city.

Demand for electricity increased and an addition to the generating station was constructed in 1890. As the demand for electricity increased, so, too, did the company's debt. In December 1896, the stockholders voted to sell the company.

The city of Taunton came to the rescue in 1897, and decided to purchase the floundering company, making it a publicly-owned electric utility. In June 1897, the city of Taunton purchased the electric light company for a total $125,000.

Renamed Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant, the utility continued to generate power at the Mechanics Lane Service Station. The Mayor appointed a Board of Commissioners to help govern the utility. By 1918, TMLP was in financial disarray due to the lack of a permanent manager or commission. With the insistence of the Taunton Central Labor Union and the Taunton Chamber of Commerce, the state legislature passed a bill that created a three-person commission to oversee TMLP. Governor Calvin Coolidge signed a bill establishing the Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant Commission in April 1919.

Today, TMLP provides electric service to 34,000 customers in Taunton, Berkley, Raynham, and sections of Dighton, Lakeville and Bridgewater. TMLP is governed by a three-member Board of Commissioners, which is elected by the citizens of Taunton.

TMLP employs 165 associates and has an office location at 55 Weir Street and the Cleary-Flood Generating Station at 1314 Somerset Ave, Taunton, Massachusetts. The Generating Station, which has two units (#8 and #9), is capable of generating 136 mW. Unit #8 burns fuel oil (#6), and Unit 9 is a combined-cycle unit that burns natural gas and #6 fuel oil.

In late 1997, TMLP began offering Internet service for its customers as TMLP Online. TMLP Online today provides Internet and network service to residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers in the area, including the entire Taunton school system as well as Morton Hospital and its associated medical facilities.

TMLP and its associates are active members in regional and national organizations such as the Northeast Public Power Association, American Public Power Association and the Municipal Electric Association of Massachusetts. Locally, our employees sit on a number of Boards and participate with civic organizations including the Taunton Chamber of Commerce, Taunton Area School to Career, Taunton Boys and Girls Club, Rotary, Project Best, United Way and American Cancer Society.