Around New England

Protesters Stage ‘Die-In’ Near Part-Time Power Plant Under Construction In Peabody

September 29, 2022

About 30 environmental protesters held a “die-in” near a power plant under construction in Peabody earlier this week, claiming that the plant will cause asthma, heat stroke, hurricanes, explosions, and lung diseases leading to death.

Some protesters lay on the sidewalk of the Danversport Bridge in Danvers on Tuesday, September 27 while others drew chalk outlines of them, according to a news story in The Beverly Citizen published on The bridge is within sight of the plant.

The plant, scheduled to open in 2023, is designed to provide electricity at times of peak demand. The owner is the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company, which describes itself as “a non-profit, public corporation and political subdivision of the Commonwealth” that represents 20 member municipal electricity utilities in the state and has the authority to issue tax-exempt revenue bonds.

The new plant is called 2015A. The plant is on land shared by the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company and the Peabody Municipal Light Plant.

Protesters on Tuesday included a sousaphone player and other members of the Boston Area Brigade of Activist Musicians, according to The Beverly Citizen. Protesters said new electricity plants powered by so-called fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal) should not be allowed, and that alternative so-called renewable methods fired by wind and solar power should be used.

Opponents of the plant say it will emit carbon that will contribute to climate change, which they say is harmful to the environment and to human beings.

Supporters say the plant is necessary in order to provide needed electricity at times of peak demand, and that any harm to the environment will be minimal.

A key problem with solar and wind power, the company building the new plant says, is that they don’t provide enough electricity to meet the need.

“The intermittent nature of renewable sources means they provide very little capacity,” the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company says on its web site, on a landing page dedicated to the Peabody project.

The company also says the so-called “peaker plant” will run only about 2.72 percent of the time, or about 239 hours per year.


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