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In a rather sudden turn of events, we hear that the plans for a Billerica power plant are on hold due to decreased demands for power in the New England area. From Billericapowerplant.com, an opposition group:
In an interesting turn of events last week relating to the Billerica power plant proposal, the plant developer ran an ad in the Lowell Sun proclaiming victory with the EFSB decision to site the plant. And on the next day, also in the Sun, Joe Fitzpatrick, CEO of DG Clean Power, admitted that the plant would likely be delayed for some time due to decreasing demand for power overall and specifically for plants like this one. Click here [PDF] to see the ad that ran in the Sun. Click here to read the article in the Sun. A second article in the Tewksbury Town Crier quotes ISO-NE’s spokesperson stating that there was far more capacity than demand in the recent ISO-NE auction. There is also commentary from the other partner in DG Clean Power, Ed Liston. Click here to read the Crier article.
Now, obviously the economic downturn has a lot to do with the decreased demand, but so do efforts to conserve, and as the national and state initiatives ramp up to push conservation (and there is a lot of low-hanging fruit) and increase the use of renewables like wind and solar, demand will only decrease further. It was always bunk that “we’ll continue to need more power” in the short run - the line that the plant’s proponents liked to push. “It’ll take time for renewables to reduce the demand for carbon-based power” said they. Well, they are wrong, and it doesn’t take a genius to see that we can easily, if we put our minds to accomplishing it, start reducing demand for CO2-based energy, deliberately and systematically. And will be, because the alternative is to let the planet warm even more than it has and will.
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