Action Alert: Write to Your Legislator and Statewide Candidates

To raise awareness and protect our communities, we are reaching out to legislators and candidates to ask for their support in urging Governor Charlie Baker and his Secretary for Environmental Affairs, Katie Theoharides, to take action by requiring these assessments before the plant is built.

Below are helpful resources that you can use to contact your public officials and leaders:

New Reports Outline the Financial Risks of the Peabody Peaker

In March 2022, two reports were released regarding Peabody Peaker. These new reports outline the financial risks associated with investing in the proposed Peabody Peaker plant and indicate that purchasing energy on the open capacity market is forecasted to be cheaper than the $85 million peaker plant.

Assessment of Potential Alternatives for Project 2015A in Peabody, MA

  • Author: Strategen (on behalf of the Clean Energy Group)
  • Publication Date: March 10th, 2022

Risks for Peabody peaker owners go beyond capacity prices

  • Author: Applied Economics Clinic (on behalf of MCAN)
  • Publication Date: March 10th, 2022

Brief Video on the Project

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 as much as 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 90-foot smokestack and a 2,500 to 7,500 new tank to hold aqueous urea;
  • Spew tons of particulate matter into a region located directly in an environmental justice community and less than a mile from 7 other environmental justice communities; 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 implore MMWEC to 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.  

Learn More

  1. Check out our FAQ's page 
  2. Read media coverage of the Peabody peaker plant.
  3. Read MCAN's op-ed opposing the creation of the gas-fired plant in Commonwealth Magazine
  4. Watch the recording and see the slides of MMWEC's June 22nd hearing about the plant

Take Action

  1. Send a letter to your legislature requesting that they write to Governor Baker asking that he re-open the MEPA process and conduct a community health impact assessment (CHIA) PRIOR to the plant's construction
  2. Ask your local Board of Health to send a letter to Governor Baker asking that a community health impact assessment (CHIA) and Environmental Impact Report is conducted PRIOR to the plant's construction
  3. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper
  4. Spread the word on social media
  5. Donate to our campaign fund 

If you would like to get more involved, you can email [email protected] If you are a Peabody resident, you can email [email protected] to get more involved in local Peabody actions.

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)

 

Campaign Resources

Assessment of Potential Energy Storage Alternatives for Project 2015A in Peabody, Massachusetts (Strategen Report)

Letter to Governor Baker from the Peabody Board of Health

Peabody Peaker Signed Power Sales Agreement

 

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