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As Opposition Rallies, Peabody Power Plant Plans Community Forum

The public on Tuesday night will get to hear an update and ask questions about a new gas-fired power plant proposed for Peabody that is being designed to help an array of municipal light plants meet their energy capacity requirements.

While the 55-megawatt power plant is being pitched as one that would run just 239 hours per year and produce fewer emissions than 94% of similar resources in the region, clean energy advocates opposed the construction of a new gas plant, which would be backed up by oil.

The Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company plans an evening community forum at the Torigian Senior Center in Peabody to offer an update on Project 2015A and to present on its investigation into alternative energy sources. Following the presentation, there will be a question-and-answer session for in-person attendees.

The MMWC recently told the Department of Public Utilities that the project remained on pause and it would provide additional updates by July 15.

Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Climate Action Network was organizing opponents to attend Tuesday night's 6:30 p.m. meeting.

"We need advocates and municipal light plant customers to come and tell MMWEC to replace their proposed dirty peaker with a clean energy alternative," Sarah Dooling, of the Massachusetts Climate Action Network, wrote in an email to members and supporters urging them to participate in Tuesday's hearing.

The power plant has been proposed for a site shared with the Peabody Municipal Light Plant and would help 13 other municipal light plants meet their energy capacity requirements. The capacity is required to cover peak load demand during periods of high electricity usage.

The MMWEC also says the project would helps lock in prices and protect municipal light customers from price volatility.

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