This old coal plant is now a solar farm, thanks to pressure from local activists (Fast Company 1/3/19)
For more than half a century, a coal plant in the city of Holyoke, Massachusetts spewed pollution into the air. Now, the plant is closed, and 17,000 solar panels and a battery storage system–the largest in the state–send clean power to the grid. Later this year, as the coal plant’s smokestacks come down, the rest of the site will be developed for new industry.
It’s a transition that was driven by the economic collapse of coal and accelerated by local activists who were concerned about the area’s high asthma rates, twice as high as the rest of the state. “We know the things that come out of a smokestack are major triggers and contributors to respiratory issues,” says Claire Müller, lead community organizer for the Toxics Action Center, which partnered with Neighbor to Neighbor, a local Latinx-led organization, to pressure the company that owned the coal plant to shut it down–and to help workers at the coal plant make the shift fairly. (read more)
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