Carver: Texas company’s 150 megawatt battery storage threatens drinking water, safety

On Plymouth Carver Sole Source Aquifer: residential wells feet away from the site

One of world’s largest lithium ion battery storage facilities

Town’s densest residential area, within a mile of elementary school, affordable housing, town center

Risks fire, explosions, releases of toxic gas

Voters pass moratorium on battery storage, requires town to study dangers

State Energy Facility Siting Board Approval is required. Read more here.

Update April 12, 2022: By at least 80% , Carver voters passed Article 38, a moratorium on battery storage. Now the state’s Attorney General must approve this.

“The Town hereby adopts a temporary 11 1/2 moratorium to March 26, 2023, on the new use of land for Battery Storage effective immediately upon Town vote. During the moratorium period, the Town shall adopt new zoning bylaws for battery storage and undertake a planning process that addresses the current and future impacts of battery storage facilities on Carver’s residents, consider the long-term objectives for additional battery storage facilities in the town and their impact on health, safety and welfare of the town.”

More questions:

How did this pass through Carver Planning Board and Conservation Commission?

Will the state Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSBB) approve this? In a significant victory, on May 6, 2022, the EFSB granted the rights of Save the Pine Barrens to full participation in the hearing. Cranberry Point fought this! We won!

Is the Carver Fire Department prepared? This project will require extensive involvement by the Fire Department to ensure public safety for decades to come. Cranberry Point must establish and maintain rigorous public safety standards, pay for equipment and training, and be ready to fight a toxic gas fire that could burn for days. This will cost the developer money. Will there be complete transparency and objective oversight by the Fire Department?

Will conflicts of interest undermine public safety? The site is owned by Weston Realty Trust, Gary Weston, Trustee and former Carver Fire Chief. His son Craig Weston is the current fire chief. These Westons are involved in strip mining, industrial solar projects and so-called cranberry bog farming — often a cover for earth removal and mining. With so many conflicts of interest in the Fire Department and town government, how can the people of Carver and the region expect objective safety measures will be designed and maintained for the life of the project?

Will the state MEPA Office do an adequate job on environmental review? Cranberry Point must submit a “full environmental impact report” to address all “Damage to the Environment”. This is not done yet. MEPA must approve the EIR before the EFSB can rule.

Chronology of Events & Approvals

2018: Battery storage project first proposed for Weston’s land. It was not allowed by the Town zoning. The town changed the zoning at Town Meeting. Did Carver voters know what they were voting for?

November 13, 2018: Enrel Green Power filed a permit application with the Carver Planning Board.

December 11, 2018 and March 12, 2019: Carver Planning Board public hearings. Board approved it. It was approved by the Planning Board. Minutes are here:

The project changed hands; now there is a different developer.

May 18, 2021: Developer filed with the Carver Planning Board for a “Minor Modification” to the 2018 site plan approval. See page 290 of the Documents. No public hearing was held. On June 22, 2021, the Carver Planning Board approved the “Minor Modifications.” This did two things:

1. relocated the battery units from the east to west side of the site, and

2. changed the access road from the northeast to the cell tower roads.

Was this really a “Minor Modification” or should there have been a permit modification request that would have required a public and notice to abutters?

August 13, 2021: New developer submits application to Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) for environmental review. Here is the developers application.

May 6, 2022: Save the Pine Barrens granted right to participate in the EFSB proceeding. Find out more on our EFSB page.

Location of Cranberry Point Battery Bomb