I believe that it is in the public interest to halt project 2015A, a 60MW gas turbine generator. A comprehensive review of the public health, environmental, and climate impacts of a fossil fuel plant should be undertaken. Alternative methods for addressing capacity requirements must be considered and fairly evaluated. Mass Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC) could develop a distributed battery storage system. MMWEC could invite a new, all sources proposal to find a comprehensive solution. In addition, Federal, state, and foundation sources may be tapped to provide support for demonstration and pilot programs to engage the community together with power plants to create a truly comprehensive energy system.
When we are determined to find a solution, we say we will leave no stone unturned.
Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC) and 14 participating municipal light plants have invested $30 million in a 55MW fossil fuel peaker plant in Peabody. What were they thinking? They don't yet have all the required regulatory and financial approvals needed to go forward. The peaker plant is not even likely to achieve the goals of providing inexpensive, reliable power to keep things running during times of extreme demand or crisis. Their plan faces strong opposition and risk, not only from clean energy advocates, but because of a failure of vision in their plan. Their goal is to continue to use fossil fuel technology to provide reliable, inexpensive service.
Municipal light plants provide reliable, low-cost electricity. The current proposal to install a third, 55 MW, fossil fuel power generation facility in Peabody threatens reliability, cost, public health, the environment, and our climate. The 300,000 ratepayers in the 14 municipalities comprising the generator consortium are investors whose money and health are at risk. A prudent investor will do careful due diligence—look under the rocks for the risks. Although in the past, considerations of profit and loss ruled investment decisions, we must now have a broader vision. From today, our vision must include public health, the environment, and the climate crisis.
We must not continue to rely on fossil fuels for everything. There are new ways to provide reliable, affordable, renewable power. Can we provide the peak demand for electricity using renewables?
Guest Article by Lew Milford and Abbe Ramanan (Clean Energy Group) ~ In a hotter world, we can expect more power outages — both from surging demand and from climate-driven disasters. The question is, how can we protect vulnerable people when the power goes out?...Industry representatives admit that natural gas is in the “fight of its life.” And what is their strategy to convince the public to keep burning gas? One slide revealed their plan: take advantage of power outage fears.
Many gas developers already have proposed continued investment in fossil fuel-based resources — and to blend and burn hydrogen with gas — because, they say, renewables will lead to more frequent power outages.