What's the Peabody Peaker Plant?
The Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC) has proposed building a new 60 MW gas and oil powered plant in Peabody, Massachusetts. Fourteen municipal utilities in Massachusetts agreed to enter into a 30+ year power contract for $170 Million that will enable the construction of this plant. Municipal utilities work on behalf of their local ratepayers, and yet not a single one of the 14 towns held a public listening session on a plant which is estimated to:
- Emit nearly 51,000 tons of the carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere every year - the equivalent of adding 11,000 combustion engine cars to Massachusetts' roads each year;
- Require the installation of a natural gas compressor to increase natural gas pressure, a new 200,000 gallon oil tank, a 90-foot smokestack and a 2,500 to 7,500 new tank to hold either aqueous urea or aqueous ammonia, a hazardous gas;
- Spew tons of particulate matter into a region located within half a mile of at least two designated environmental justice areas; and
- Commit ratepayers to paying for 30 years of high priced capacity, at a time when lower cost and cleaner alternatives are readily available and carbon polluting power will most likely to be taxed in the future.
Peaker plants operate infrequently, only during those times when existing energy supplies cannot meet the peak demands. Peak demand times include heat waves, when people with air conditioning turn it high; or during extreme cold weather, when people turn on their heat very high. The Peabody Peaker Plant will also operate relatively infrequently -- but it is proposed to be powered the two fuels: natural gas and oil.
Building this peaker plant undermines our state’s climate goals.
Building this peaker plant threatens the health of community residents and adds an unnecessary expense for Municipal Light Plant residents.
The same amount of money being spent on this project could buy an equivalent 60 MW of solar energy and storage capacity. We demand that MMWEC withdraw this project, and for the MLPs involved to withdraw their financial support of this costly, unnecessary, and dangerous project. MCAN is committed to ensuring our public utilities are part of the climate solution, progressing on clean energy, energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions.
- Check out our FAQ's page
- Read media coverage of the Peabody peaker plant.
- Read MCAN's op-ed opposing the creation of the gas-fired plant in Commonwealth Magazine
- Watch the recording and see the slides of MMWEC's June 22nd hearing about the plant
- Sign onto our letter to the CEO of MMWEC
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper
- Spread the word on social media
- Donate to our campaign fund
Originally, 14 Municipal Utilities, representing over 330,000 people, signed a Power Sales Agreement, committing to becoming co-owners of the proposed plant. In April 2021, Holyoke Gas and Electric and Chicopee Municipal Lighting Plant filed with the Department of Public Utility to get out the contract they signed.
The list of the original 14 Municipal Utilities is below.
If you live in one of these municipalities, use the resources listed above and urge your utility get out of this project!
Boylston - 0.75 MW (1.25% of total)
Chicopee - 2.67 MW (4.45% of total)
Holden - 2.65 MW (4.42% of total)
Holyoke - 2.13 MW (3.55% of total)
Hull - 1.28 MW (2.13% of total)
Mansfield - 4.3 MW (7.17% of total)
Marblehead - 2.43 MW (4.05% of total)
Peabody- 17.86 MW (29.77% of total)
Russell - 0.12 MW (0.20% of total)
Shrewsbury - 7.04 MW (11.73% of total)
South Hadley - 6 MW (10.00% of total)
Sterling - 1.52 MW (2.53% of total)
Wakefield - 4.8 MW (8.00% of total)
West Boylston - 1.45 MW (2.42% of total)