Stop The Peabody Peaker
An April 2022 climate report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is very clear that the world needs to stop building new fossil fuel infrastructure immediately. In fact, to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, countries need to actively decommission a lot of the oil, gas and coal infrastructure that already exists, so why is the state of Massachusetts allowing the construction of a new natural gas and diesel powered peaker plant in Peabody, Massachusetts when we're currently a mere 0.15 degrees away from the 1.5 degrees tipping point that will propel planet earth into climate collapse?
Peaking power plants, also known as peaker plants and “peakers,” are power plants that run when there is a peak demand in electricity. Peakers are typically turned on during the coldest and warmest days of the year to compensate for spikes in space heating and air conditioning. Most peakers run on oil or gas.
Climate activists from 350 Mass, Breathe Clean North Shore, Mothers Out Front, Extinction Rebellion Boston, Mass Climate Action Network & others rallied on the Danversport Bridge on the Peabody and Danvers town line to protest against the construction of the 55-megawatt Peabody Peaker Plant owned and operated by Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company. The new peaker would use fossil fuels that emit carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and other harmful particles into the air. MMWEC was not required to conduct an environmental impact report or a comprehensive health impact assessment for the areas around the plant, however, independent research shows neighborhoods near the new plant face high rates of health issues such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary heart disease and stroke. The Peabody Peaker Plant is located in an environmental justice neighborhood, a state designation given to areas where residents are historically vulnerable to environmental hazards. The Peabody Peaker Power Plant will emit nearly 51,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the air EVERY YEAR! The city of Peabody already has two peaker plants, 15 air polluting sites, & 85 hazardous-waste sites.
In addition to many area residents being people of color, low-income, elderly and individuals with disabilities, located nearby are daycare centers, New England Home for the Deaf and MGH Danvers hospital.
Construction of the 170 million dollars project is at the same site as the Peabody Municipal Light Plant, which is scheduled to be decommissioned by 2026. The new Peabody Peaker Plant is expected to be completed by summer 2023. Municipal light plants in 14 communities have already put up money and signed 30-year contracts to receive power from the peaker plant, including Peabody, Marblehead, Wakefield, Hull, Mansfield, Shrewsbury, Sterling, Boylston, West Boylston, Holden, South Hadley and Russell. Holyoke and Chicopee were among them, but recently backed out of their contract. The money being spent on the Peabody Light Peaker Plant is enough to buy an equivalent 60 MW of solar energy and storage capacity! Time to invest in clean energy! A livable, breathable future demands it!
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More photos from today's climate action in local news
- Peabody peaker power plant protest and "die-in" on Danvesport Bridge in Danvers
- Climate Change Activists hold a die-in rally in opposition of the Peabody Peaker Plant
- Research shows neighborhoods near new plant face high rates of health issues
- Proposed Peabody 'peaker' plant 'misguided,' Environmental League of Massachusetts
- Protestors, neighbors rally near Peabody peaker plant site
- What to know about planned natural gas 'peaker' plant in Mass
- Peaker power plant in Peabody is Unnecessary, Harmful and Costly