No government, even the most progressive, is yet prepared to contemplate the transformation we need: a global programme that places the survival of humanity and the rest of life on Earth above all other issues. We need not just new policy, but a new ethics. We need to close the gap between knowing and doing. But this conversation has scarcely begun.—George Monbiot, The Guardian, August 20, 2021

This is the significance of tipping points: we are playing with fire, pushing Earth systems to the point that there is a small-but-real chance that some of them will break down entirely, entering phase shifts and becoming something permanently less stable and hospitable.

If that happens, we will have consigned all future generations of human beings to inexorably and irreversibly deteriorating conditions. It is a crime worse than any genocide, worse than any atrocity conceived or conceivable, and even if there is only a small chance that we might stumble into committing it, we should be hyper-cautious. We should spend a lot of money to reduce that risk, to insure against it.—David Roberts, Volts, August 18, 2021


Even when all the promised technofixes and offsets are counted, current policies commit us to a calamitous 2.9C of global heating. To risk irreversible change by proceeding at such a leisurely pace, to rely on undelivered technologies and nonexistent capacities: this is a formula for catastrophe.

If Earth systems cross critical thresholds, everything we did and everything we were – the learning, the wisdom, the stories, the art, the politics, the love, the hate, the anger and the hope – will be reduced to stratigraphy. It’s not a smooth and linear transition we need. It’s a crash course.—George Monbiot The Guardian September 9, 2021

Energy Sources: Challenges & Opportunities; Storage

Applied Economics Clinic, Energy Storage for Winter Grid Reliability: How Batteries Became the Low-Cost Solution for Power Assurance in Massachusetts, December 2, 2021, Clean Energy Group.

Kate Aronoff, The World Is Waking Up to the Truth That Natural Gas Is Dirty: The U.N.’s new Global Methane Report throws cold water on a longtime fossil fuel industry talking point. The New Republic, May 7, 2021.

Barrett, Senator Michael, Next Generation Roadmap, Presentation at meeting of Elders Climate Action Mass, June 8, 2021 (video)

The Editorial Board, Senate Democrats are weighing game-changing climate legislation — they must approve it: A bill steering utilities toward greener energy may be the single most important legislation Congress can approve to slow the advance of climate change. Boston Globe, August 24, 2021

Blunt, Catherine, Natural Gas, America’s No. 1 Power Source, Already Has a New Challenger, Batteries,” Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2021.

Driscoll, Charles et al, An 80 x 30 Clean Electricity Standard: Carbon, Costs, and Health Benefits, Clean Energy Futures, July 12, 2021

Dewey, Amanda and Nick Henner, Cities Are Using an Emerging Model to Boost Renewables, but What about Energy Efficiency?, ACEEE, August 11, 2021. In Massachusetts and other states, local governments are adopting a utility alternative for providing customers with electricity that boosts use of renewable energy called community choice aggregation (CCA); it can be combined with efficiency.

Farrell, John, Wrong incentives drive energy decisions in Minnesota: Customers are held captive without competition, and profit — not environmental — motives rule. The Public Utilities Commission can change this. Star Tribune, June 6, 2021

Hledik, Ryan and Ahmad Faruqui, The National Potential for Load Flexibility: Value and Market Potential Through 2030,Brattle Group

Howarth, Robert and Mark Jacobson, How green is blue hydrogen?, Energy, Science & Engineering, August 12, 2021

Jin, Danny, BEAT's 'peaker' campaign draws local support, statewide allies, Berkshire Eagle, March 23, 2021

Krieger, Elena, Opportunities for Replacing Peaker Plants with Energy Storage in Massachusetts, Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSE)

Landrigan, Philip J., M.D., Howard Frumkin, M.D., Dr.P.H., and Brita E. Lundberg, M.D., The False Promise of Natural Gas, N Engl J Med 2020; 382:104-107; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1913663 January 9, 2020

Lyderson, Kari, As Indiana coal plants close, advocates say gas power should not replace them: As it retires a coal-fired power plant, CenterPoint Energy is pushing to build a smaller gas plant than one that was rejected two years ago by Indiana regulators. Consumer and environmental groups still say it’s unnecessary. Energy News Network, August 2, 2021

Maloney, Peter, In Massachusetts, capacity ownership of distributed resources could determine fate of storage: Policy issues arise as Massachusetts' energy storage market begins to get off the ground. Utility Dive, June 20, 2018

McKibben, Bill,

McNamara, Will, ISSUE BRIEF, Energy Storage To Replace Peaker Plants, Sandia National Laboratories, November, 2020

Medway, Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), July 19, 2021

No Fracked Gas in Mass  Compilation of Energy Storage Information

Penrod, Emma, Push for green energy could strand more than $68B in coal and gas assets, S&P says,, Aug. 9, 2021

Plus Power, Cranberry Point Energy Storage, Carver, Massachusetts. From 2024, a 7-year capacity contract with ISO-NE, 300 Mw/hour battery

Spector, Julian, Environmental-justice activists in California fight off a new gas plant, get a giant Tesla battery instead, Canary Media, July 5, 2021

Oxnard creates a model for the energy transition by fusing environmental justice with cutting-edge technology.

Spector, Julian, Plus Power Breaks Open Market for Massive Batteries in New England: Large standalone battery plants had not succeeded in New England’s capacity market. Until now. February 11, 2021

Spector, Julian, Hawaii building huge new battery, bidding farewell to coal: Plus Power's Kapolei battery aims to keep Oahu's grid steady as the island's fossil fuel plants shut down. Canary Media, August 17, 2021

Strategen Consulting, The Fossil Fuel End Game: A Frontline Vision to Retire New York City’s Peaker Plants by 2030, Published By: The PEAK Coalition
Date: 03/16/2021

Strategen Consulting, Assessment of Potential Energy Storage Alternatives for Project 2015A in Peabody, Massachusetts, Clean Energy Group, Massachusetts Climate Action Network, July, 2021

Tabuchi, Haroko, For Many, Hydrogen Is the Fuel of the Future. New Research Raises Doubts: Industry has been promoting hydrogen as a reliable, next-generation fuel to power cars, heat homes and generate electricity. It may, in fact, be worse for the climate than previously thought, New York Times, August 16, 2021.

Tigue, Kristoffer, Climate Activists Target a Retrofitted ‘Peaker Plant’ in Queens, Decrying New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure: They say burning natural gas harms communities of color, exceeds New York’s carbon limits and helps make the case for a federal clean energy standard, Inside Climate News, July 30, 2021

VanBenschoten, Helen, Ph.D., “Lithium ion battery energy storage as alternative to gas or oil fired peaker,” testimony before the DPU of special project 2015A, discussing energy storage options; April 26, 2021; and personal communication.

Van Voorhis, Scott, An ideal marriage? The battle to match US clean energy demand with excess Canadian hydropower: It would seem like the perfect match — a surplus of Canadian hydropower with a grid in the U.S. that is hungry for more renewable power sources. But moving that power is proving to be complicated, Utility Dive, August 16, 2021. Possible synergy among hydropower, wind, solar but building transmission meets opposition.

Way, Rupert et al, Empirically grounded technology forecasts and the energy transition, INET Oxford Working Paper Nol 2021-01, September 14, 2021 projects greater future savings, the more rapidly we transition to renewables…

Wilson, Adam and Steve Piper, A nationwide push for green energy could strand $68B in coal, gas assets, S&P Global, Market Intelligence, August 5, 2021 (energy storage technologies)

No Fracked Gas in Mass, Energy Storage (long term; short term) Curated resources

The Externalities: Health, Environment, Climate

Cho, Renee, Social Cost of Carbon: What Is It, and Why Do We Need to Calculate It?, State of the Planet, Columbia Climate School, April 1, 2021.

Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility

Landrigan, Philip J., M.D., Howard Frumkin, M.D., Dr.P.H., and Brita E. Lundberg, M.D., The False Promise of Natural Gas, N Engl J Med 2020; 382:104-107; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1913663 January 9, 2020

Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers (PSE) for Healthy Energy

United States Environmental Protection Agency, Overview of Greenhouse Gases

Wikipedia, IPCC list of greenhouse gases

Clean Energy Goals, Strategies, Regulations: Meeting Peak Demand

Alstone, Peter, Mary Ann Piette, Electric Load Flexibility Analysis for the Clean Energy Transition, Notre Dame J. Emerging Tech. 92 (2020)

Brattle Group, Ryan Hledik and Ahmad Faruqui et al, The National Potential for Load Flexibility: Value and Market Clean Energy Group Potential Through 2030, The Brattle Group, June, 2019 Collaboration with consumers, technology like smart thermostats for load flexibility, shfting energy use to off-peak times, use of variable costs as incentives; avoiding investments in new generation capacity is a source of value. Regulatory incentives to favor demand-side options rather than fossil fuel generation.

Campbell, Bradley and Stephan Roundtree, Why Massachusetts is in a bind on emissions goals:ISO-NE needs to change its rules and stop creating barriers that lock out renewable energy, Boston Globe, June 25, 2021

Clean Energy Group & Peak Coalition, The Fossil Fuel End Game: A Frontline Vision to Retire New York City’s Peaker Plants by 2030 (report) Comprehensive, detailed analysis and projections of the many factors involved in replacing fossil fuel peak plants with efficiency, renewables, and storage. Governmental policy has a role and the structure and incentives of the market for peak power need scrutiny and reform.

Clean Energy Group & Peak Coalition, Replacing Peaker Power Plants with Clean Energy: A Frontline Vision for New York City, April, 2021. (webinar) 

Cohn, Charlotte, As Utilities Plan New Power Plants, Analysis Shows Saving Energy Is a Low-Cost Alternative, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), June 23, 2021

Cohn, C. 2021.The Cost of Saving Electricity for the Largest U.S. Utilities: Ratepayer-Funded Efficiency Programs in 2018. Washington, DC: ACEEE. Topic Brief.

Massachusetts DOER, Clean Peak Energy Standard Final Regulation…

Cole, Wesley, and A. Will Frazier. 2020. Cost Projections for Utility-Scale Battery Storage: 2020 Update. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/TP-6A20-75385. Expect steep drop in cost over next several years.

Denhom Paul et al, "The Potential for Battery Energy Storage to Provide Peaking Capacity in the United States," The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), June, 2019

Lazard, Levelized Cost of Energy and Levelized Cost of Storage – 2020 (LCOE 14.0), October 19, 2020

Matthew Young et al, "Assessment of peak power demand reduction available via modulation of building ventilation systems," Energy and Buildings, 2020
DOI 10.1016/j.enbuild.2020.109867

Mims-Frick, Natalie et al Peak Demand Impacts From Electricity Efficiency Programs, Berkely Lab, 2019 Report ~ Presentation

MMWEC, Project 2015A

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Sustainable Energy
The role of state regulatory commissions

The New England Power Market

ISO new england, Forward Capacity Market (FCM)

ISO new england, Markets

ISO new england, Installed Capacity Requirement (ICR)

ISO new england, FCM Substitution Auction Overview and Timeline

LA100: The Los Angeles 100% Renewable Energy Study

Mass Clean Energy Center

RENEW Northeast, FAIR MARKET FOR RENEWABLES RENEW Northeast (RENEW) is a non-profit association uniting the renewable energy industry and environmental interest groups whose mission involves coordinating the ideas and resources of its members with the goal of promoting and increasing renewable energy in New England and New York.

Spector, Julian, Plus Power Breaks Open Market for Massive Batteries in New England: Large standalone battery plants had not succeeded in New England’s capacity market. Until now.  Green Tech Media, February 11, 2021

Sterling Municipal Light Department Energy Storage System—A Revolution for the Electric Grid

PSE Healthy Energy, "Massachusetts Peaker Power Plants: Energy Storage Replacement Opportunities,"  May, 2020   Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers (PSE) for Healthy Energy is a multidisciplinary, nonprofit research institute that studies the way energy production and use impact public health and the environment.

Media Reports on The Peabody Peaker Plant, Project 2015A

Abel, David, Amid the push for a cleaner future, a proposed power plant threatens to escalate the war over the region’s power grid, Boston Globe, November 23, 2021

Dale, Paul, The proposed peaker power plant in Peabody is unnecessary, harmful and costly, Sierra Club, July 5, 2021. Dale is the Sierra Club Energy Committee Chair

Dale, Paul, The proposed peaker power plant in Peabody is unnecessary, harmful and costly, October 30, 2021; Revised Oct 31, 2021.

DeCurzio, Ronald C., Proposed Peabody gas plant, now on hold, makes sense, Commonwealth, June 1, 2021

Danvers Select Board & MMWEC Representative Meeting - 7/9/21

Dooling, Sarah, No justification for proposed Peabody gas plant: Clean energy future doesn’t begin with a ‘dirty’ peaker, CommonWealth, June 19, 2021

Halberstadt, Jerry, Let’s Consider Renewable Alternatives.

Halberstadt, Jerry, Letter: Peabody citizens must be heard on power plant, Salem News, May 17, 2021

Halberstadt, Jerry, Column: The Peabody peaker challenge, June 17, updated June 30, 2021

Halberstadt, Jerry, Column: A bad project for Peabody, July 14, 2021

Nolan, Erin, Lack of transparency cited by power plant foes, Salem News, April 21, 2021

Nolan, Erin, Peabody health officials ask governor to intervene, Salem News, July 11, 2021

Nolan, Erin, Push for Peabody 'peaker' plant to resume:With some changes, MMWEC set to move forward, Salem News, July 19, 2021

Shemkus, Sarah, Could batteries replace a proposed peaker plant in Massachusetts? As a municipal power supplier pauses plans to build a natural gas peaker plant, advocates are urging its backers to consider battery storage instead, but questions remain about whether it’s practical for the site. Energy News Network June 2, 2021

 Souza, Scott, North Shore Officials, Peabody Light Spar Over Proposed Gas Plant, Officials cite resident safety and environmental concerns, while Peabody Light said the plant is needed to meet surge capacity requirements, Patch May 6, 2021

Souza, Scott, Opposition Remains As Proposed Peabody Generator Project Proceeds: Peabody resident Jerry Halberstadt, of Clean Power Coalition and Breathe Clean North Shore, called on Gov. Baker to halt Project 2015A. July 29, 2021

Tobin, Anne Marie, Peabody residents want to shed light on power plant,, April 30, 2021 

Wade , Christian M., Peabody gas plant faces opposition; Critics worry ratepayers will get stuck with the bill, Salem News, April 12, 2021.

Clean energy alternatives to the Peabody Peaker Plant

Smith-Galvin, Julie, Special Project 2015A Timeline

Smith-Galvin, Julie, Peabody Power Plant FAQ

Strategen Consulting, Assessment of Potential Energy Storage Alternatives for Project 2015A in Peabody, Massachusetts, Clean Energy Group, Massachusetts Climate Action Network, July, 2021

Clean Energy Solutions

Mothers Out Front, Clean Heat. A plan that lists key elements for community action, working with gas companies to convert from gas to clean heat methods.



Regulatory issues

Department of Public Utilities, 2015A Review Process  Includes public testimony, rulings, etc.

Jin, Danny, Beacon Hill to the Berkshires: Climate advocates seek 'action' legislation to move beyond road map bill, Berkshire Eagle, July 26, 2021

Richard A. Kanoff Michael Thompson Prince Lobel Tye LLP, INITIAL BRIEF
, for  D.P.U. 21-29: Petition of Massachusetts Wholesale Electric Company for Authorization and Approval to Issue Bonds, Notes and Other Evidences of Indebtedness in an Amount not to Exceed $170,000,000 Pursuant to St. 1975, c. 775, §§ 5(p), 9, 11, and 17, July 29, 2021

Nicholas J. Scobbo, Jr. BBO No. 448900 Sherry L.  Vaughn BBO No. 665167

Penn, Ivan and Clifford Krauss, Power Lines or Rooftop Solar Panels: The Fight Over Energy’s Future: The president and energy companies want new transmission lines to carry electricity from solar and wind farms. Some environmentalists and homeowners are pushing for smaller, more local systems. NYT, July 11, 2021

Song, Lisa , with additional reporting by Ava Kofman, photography by Kathleen Flynn, special to ProPublica, They Knew Industrial Pollution Was Ruining the Neighborhood’s Air. If Only Regulators Had Listened. November 29, 2021, ProPublica


Ben Hillman's new video on the Peabody peaker. A 5-minute, incisive analysis and story. Watch it and spread the word about this effective video.

After passing bold new climate laws in Massachusetts, the first thing the Baker administration is doing is to allow the construction of a brand new dirty power plant in Peabody, MA.