Replacing Fossil Fuels With Community-Led Clean Energy
One thousand power plants known as “peaker plants” are still operational across the US.
Peaker plants tend to be older and inefficient, says Carlos Garcia, energy planner with the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA). Their name derives from the function they serve, shifting from idle to burning gas or oil in infrequent moments when energy demand peaks beyond average—typically when heating and cooling needs are the greatest.
An informal network of scientists, activists, and lawmakers in at least nine states have identified the plants as a first-line target to be replaced with wind, solar, and distributed battery storage, and say doing so would save money and lives.
In March 2020, a coalition of community organizations dedicated to environmental justice in New York City published a detailed report offering a blueprint for lawmakers to deliver on the vision, in two five-year waves, which they’ll introduce to the public in an April 21 webinar.