Carver MA: 150 MW lithium-ion battery storage facility proposed for residential neighborhood

Send a letter to the Energy Facility Siting Board urging them to reject the application for this project.

There are many questions about how this project passed through the Carver Planning Board and Conservation Commission.

The site is owned by Weston Realty Trust, Gary Weston, Trustee. He is the uncle of Carver’s Fire Chief. This project will require extensive involvement by the Fire Department to ensure public safety for decades to come. The developer 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?

2018: A large scale storage project was first proposed for Weston’s land. It was not allowed by the Town zoning. Then- Town Administrator Michael Milanowski arranged for a zoning change to be proposed and passed at Town Meeting. How many people in Carver knew this zoning change meant a 150 MW lithium ion battery storage facility would be allowed in a residential neighborhood?

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

December 11, 2018: Carver Planning Board held a public hearing on the Enrel project. It was approved by the Planning Board.

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 hearing 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.

October 1, 2021 State MEPA Office requires Cranberry Point developers to submit a “full environmental impact report.” (EIR) This means that the short notice that Cranberry Point submitted to the state did not address all the “Damage to the Environment” as required by law and full report of all the damage and the mitigation is necessary. This full “EIR” hasn’t been submitted yet. The review process is far from over. Requiring a full EIR means this is a BIG deal. When the full EIR is filed, if it is inadequate, people who will be harmed by the project can appeal to court. Here is the MEPA “Certificate” requiring a full EIR.

State Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) process: Because this project is classified as a 100 MW or more energy generating facility it has to go through a hearing process at the EFSB. This is like a trial with evidence and witnesses. It is very important that anyone who wants to have the state hear their side of things participate.

Important deadline: Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, at 5 p.m: Public comments and requests to participate or intervene are due to the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) on this dangerous, toxic facility. Instructions: send to: dpu.efiling@mass.gov and andre.gibeau@mass.gov The text of the email must specify: (1) the docket number of the proceeding (EFSB 21-02); (2) the name of the person or entity submitting the filing; and (3) a brief description of the document. The electronic filing should also include the name, title, and telephone number of a person to contact in the event of questions about the filing. For more info: André Gibeau, Presiding Officer Energy Facilities Siting Board (617) 794-6388 andre.gibeau@mass.gov