By Eben Rose
Massachusetts’ demand for 1,200 megawatts of electrical generation to fill the “energy gap” left by the closure of two New England nuclear plants can be met with delocalized but interconnected microgrids, each with a capacity for sustainable electrical generation and salt water battery storage that can feed the grid and buffer fluctuations of demand.
This model of growth is both sustainable and democratizing because it keeps decision making localized and not top-down, imposed from some high and distant corporate boardroom. This model also, importantly, keeps the impacts of energy development more local, and therefore transparent to the consumers who are the enfranchised decision makers.
This is a stark contrast to New England Clean Energy Connect (aka “the CMP corridor”), a plan which arrived fully formed as a marriage of habitat-fragmenting, herbicide-managed clear cuts across the undeveloped Maine woods and hydroelectric impoundments that inundate First Nation lands in Quebec. The environmental and cultural impacts of NECEC are separated from the consumers in a sadly familiar centuries-long pattern of colonialism. And for those of us who recognize the need to go green and who also to repudiate colonialism, NECEC is no solution.
Vote “yes” this November to reject the NECEC. Massachusetts will fill its “energy gap” via an underground conduit through Vermont that at least does not fragment habitats and damage landscapes there or here. And Maine can focus on developing its own sustainable electricity, and do so more democratically than NECEC’s corporate colonialism.