Letter from the Director
This past spring and summer marked vic- tories worth celebrating in Somerset, Massachusetts. Somerset is the closest thing we have to Appalachian coal country here in New England, hosting two coal-fired power plants for the past half century, with coal power generation as its primary tax base. In 2017, the second of those plants and the largest fossil fuel power plant in the Northeast, Brayton Point, finally closed its doors. We continued to help leaders from the Somerset-based group Coalition for Clean Air South Coast watchdog demolition and reuse plans, and make the case for clean energy development in place of coal. And, on April 27, residents celebrated the demolition of the massive cooling towers, just weeks after the power plant smokestacks were torn down. Then, in May, the current owner signed a $650 million agreement to build the Anbaric Renewable Energy Center at the site, which will transform the former coal-fired power plant into a world-class logistics port, manufacturing hub and support center for the offshore wind energy sector. This is a major victory, positioning Somerset at the center of Massachusetts’ growing clean energy economy. Energy generated by offshore wind turbines tied in at Brayton Point, combined with battery storage, will be comparable with the power output of the old coal plant.
Sometimes, the problems we’re working to solve seem so big that it’s hard to feel like we’re making progress. That’s why we train community groups to celebrate victories, large and small, and to set clear benchmarks along the way to their goals. This is a massive victory and the result of years of grassroots organizing. Thank you for your support of this work!