Left In Lowell

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July 28, 2008

Two More Reasons to Stop Building Polluting Power Plants

by at 11:58 am.

The Patrick administration admits they should not be needed if their energy plan works (hear Secretary Ian Bowles at Lowell’s public meeting last week talking about the Billerica power plant), many local officials are opposed, and specifically, the peak power plant being proposed in Billerica is just that - a peak power plant, less efficient and more polluting than other peak usage solutions, such as grid energy storage. The only people who really want the plant built are those slated to make millions on it selling us power that, it turns out, we really don’t need.

Not if we go California’s route, that is. Sensible regulation has stabilized California’s usage of energy, despite its population and economic growth. According to the article at Salon,

In the past three decades, electricity consumption per capita grew 60 percent in the rest of the nation, while it stayed flat in high-tech, fast-growing California. If all Americans had the same per capita electricity demand as Californians currently do, we would cut electricity consumption 40 percent. If the entire nation had California’s much cleaner electric grid, we would cut total U.S. global-warming pollution by more than a quarter without raising American electric bills. And if all of America adopted the same energy-efficiency policies that California is now putting in place, the country would never have to build another polluting power plant.

Saving energy is also saving money, and given our growing energy costs (like your gas bill, which has increased largely due to demand from new power plants like the one being proposed in Billerica) we could all use the break for our household budgets.

Simple things, like painting the flat roofs of warehouses white, or requiring outdoor lighting to lose less than 6% of the light to an upwards direction (requiring lower wattage to light the same square footage) can go a long way, but businesses don’t do these things out of the goodness of their hearts.

Read the rest of the article, it’s really excellent. Yet again it shows that reducing climate-changing pollution and our dependence on foreign sources of carbon-based fuel does not have to cost us - in fact, it will benefit consumers, businesses, and most of all, our economy.

Second place in today’s news in why-the-Billerica-power-plant-is-a-bad-idea, who wants to wake up to a sound like your kettle on the stove whistling, except as loud as a power plant can make it?

“It sounded like a very loud whistle, for a short duration of time, until proper operations could be restored,” Nydam said. “The valves helped save the plant, but they did create a lot of noise, which some folks in the area reported to the mayor’s office.”

Nydam said National Grid spent 15 hours repairing the power lines that were damaged, and that during that time his plant’s entire phone system was out of order.

Oh and did we mention that the Billerica power plant is slated to be a “remote operations” plant? You know, via phone and internet, and stuff. Run from Lowell. Real secure.

4 Responses to “Two More Reasons to Stop Building Polluting Power Plants”

  1. kpem Says:

    Yes, the plant will be romotely staffed by employees that the proponent says will be there. I guess I still do not understand if anyone enforces the Lowell plant being staffed other than the owners. Who is accountable for the plant safety and staffing?

  2. Bill Says:

    What about the big nasty power plants(s) being constructed today in Lowell situated between Tanner and Gorham Steets?
    The owner developer of the Billerica power plant proposal” is building one now at the end of Tanner Streeet. The other is the former “steam generating plant.

    Bill

  3. Lynne Says:

    Yeah, unfortunately it is likely too far past the approval stage to stop.

    However, they won’t get a second plant built there if I have anything to say about it.

  4. kpem Says:

    I guess you got my comments on the DEP open comments. Have lots more info.

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