A new report paid for by the company behind a proposed city power plant says the project would lead to the creation of 756 temporary jobs and 58 permanent jobs in the Brockton area. Advanced Power spokesman Wes Eberle touted the report as the first analysis of spinoff economic benefits from the project.
A new report paid for by the company proposing a city power plant says the project would bring about 756 new temporary jobs and 58 permanent jobs to the Brockton area.
To read the report, click here.
Click here to view the full report in PDF format.
The report considers jobs directly tied to the plant along with jobs that would be created at other businesses as the result of the project investment, now estimated at $279 million.
The temporary jobs would be created during the 26- to 30-month construction of the plant off Oak Hill Way on Brockton’s south side.
The jobs would be located in Plymouth, Bristol and Norfolk counties, according to the report, which was commissioned by project company Advanced Power Services NA of Boston.
They would include 300 jobs constructing the plant; 243 new positions at businesses that provide supplies and services for the project; and 213 new jobs at businesses where workers would spend their wages, according to the report from the Economic Development Research Group of Boston.
Advanced Power spokesman Wes Eberle touted the report as the first analysis of spinoff economic benefits from the project.
“The economic effects will benefit residents and local businesses of all stripes in Brockton and surrounding areas,” he said. “Anyone who’s connected to the local and regional economy will experience the effects of an investment like this.”
In addition to the construction jobs, 95 temporary jobs would be created in Brockton at businesses due to increased economic activity connected to the project, the report says.
The project would also lead to the creation of 44 permanent jobs in Brockton and 14 jobs elsewhere in the three local counties, according to the report.
Brockton Mayor James E. Harrington said seeing the report hasn’t changed his stance against the 350-megawatt, gas- and diesel-burning power plant.
“It’s never been an economic decision for us,” he said. “We’ve never really looked at the economics of it, because we can’t get by the environmental issues ... why should you put the health of the people at risk for jobs?”
Councilor-at-large Thomas Brophy, an outspoken critic of the project, also said the new economic promises don’t persuade him.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — it’s 30 pieces of silver,” he said.
Harrington and 10 of 11 city councilors oppose the plant due to its use of pollution-causing fossil fuels. They point to studies showing that long-term exposure to air pollutants such as particulate matter are linked with health impacts, including respiratory and heart disease.
Advanced Power contends the plant will have no health impacts since it will be powered mainly by natural gas, the least polluting fossil fuel, and points to approval by state agencies as evidence of this.
Harrington said that even as Brockton suffers an unemployment rate just shy of 12 percent, new jobs tied to a fossil fuel power plant aren’t worth it.
“We’re doing things to try to find other businesses that have the same economic benefits, but without the environmental impacts,” he said.
The mayor said several new city business ventures may be announced in the next few weeks, but that he couldn’t provide any details yet.
Harrington and Brophy also said they did not trust the findings of the power plant report because it was commissioned by the project company.
“If it’s paid for by Advanced Power, enough said,” Brophy said, noting that the report does not discuss issues such as the effect on real estate values near the plant site.
Bridgewater State College economist Michael Jones, who agreed to do an independent review of the report, described it as a standard economic analysis.
The report uses figures from the power plant company and historical economic data for the Brockton area to find how the money invested in the project is likely to filter to other businesses and jobs, Jones said.
But Jones said the report doesn’t consider one important factor — whether or not the contractor for the project is a local company. That may affect how much money stays locally and how many people are hired from the area, he said.
“If they’ve taken that into account, that’s not clear in the document,” Jones said.
Eberle, the Advanced Power spokesman, said a contractor hasn’t been hired for the project, but that it won’t matter where the company is based because Advanced Power will require the contractor to use local workers and buy as many materials locally as possible.
“Any contractor or subcontractor hired by Advanced Power would certainly be operating under that dictate from the company,” Eberle said.
The project, which would be the largest development in Brockton’s history, won a license from the state Energy Facilities Siting Board and is now seeking approvals on the local level.
City boards which still must review the project include the City Council, which would have to approve the sale of treated wastewater for cooling at the plant, under the current project proposal. The council has signaled it won’t sell the wastewater.
Job creation from power plant during operation
- Brockton: 22 jobs for operation of power plant.
- 15 new jobs at businesses providing supplies and services.
- 6 new jobs at businesses where workers will spend their wages.
- Total jobs in city: 44.
- Plymouth, Bristol and Norfolk counties: 22 jobs for operation of power plant.
- 22 new jobs at businesses providing supplies and services.
- 13 new jobs at businesses where workers will spend their wages.
- Total jobs three counties: 58.
Source: Economic Development Research Group study, paid for by power plant company Advanced Power Services
Kyle Alspach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.