Sunday Rally Will Support Wind And Solar Energy

Photo: Fix the Grid

Source: Fix The Grid Coalition

The Fix the Grid coalition is holding a rally and march Sunday, November 14 at 1 pm outside of the headquarters of the Independent System Operator-New England (ISO-NE) electrical system operator in Holyoke. Advocates will gather to protest ISO-NE’s slow transition from fossil fuels to solar and wind power. Detailed rally information can be found here.

The rally will be held at Crosier Park (located on Mackintosh Terrace, Holyoke), followed by a march to ISO-NE headquarters (1 Sullivan Rd, Holyoke).

Speakers include:

  • Peter McAvoy, former member of the South Hadley Electric Light Department
  • Nathan Phillips, Professor at Boston University
  • A community member of Neighbor to Neighbor

Background On Energy Sources

In 2020, the New England electric grid was powered by:

52.5% Natural Gas 

27% Nuclear Power     

8.1% Hydro-electric from Canada & New York

3.8% Wind

3.2% Refuse

2.4% Wood

2.2% Solar

0.8% Other 

ISO’s energy decisions must be ratified by an advisory body called the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL). Unfortunately, NEPOOL uses a voting system that gives the fossil fuel power companies and the region’s big utilities more votes than consumer representatives. In addition, New England governors and state legislatures are not represented at all.

ISO has designed a rating system called MOPR to decide which power providers will be added to the electric system in future years. Solar and wind power are penalized in the ISO system. For example, in 2019, ISO held an auction to bring new energy capacity into the grid in 2023. Just 5% of the new energy approved came from solar and wind power.

ISO’s slow response to climate change has not gone unnoticed. In 2020, the governors of Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island issued a White Paper criticizing ISO for holding up the transition to wind and solar and for undemocratic governance.

Members of Fix the Grid are calling for an energy grid that:

1) Stops subsidizing fossil fuel electrical generation in New England

2) Transitions to 100% renewable energy through demand reduction, conservation, and expanded use of clean, local, and safe renewable energy sources

3) Encourages small-scale and decentralized energy production and storage 

4) Is governed transparently & democratically with community input on infrastructure siting

5) Is affordable and accessible for all

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