6 western Mass. communities awarded funds for clean energy projects

Massachusetts

Quincy City Councilor Charles Phelan, Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Patrick Woodcock, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Quincy City Councilor Noel DiBona, Quincy City Councilor David McCarthy, and Quincy City Councilor Brian Palmucci all joined at Old City Hall in Quincy. (Mass.gov)

QUINCY (Mass.gov) – To kick off Climate Week in Massachusetts, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the award of $7.9 million to 59 municipalities across the Commonwealth through the Green Communities Competitive Grant program. The announcement was made by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, and Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Patrick Woodcock in the City of Quincy, which was awarded a $200,000 grant. DOER has now awarded over $145 million to Green Communities in Designation Grants and Competitive Grants since 2010.

“The Commonwealth continues to lead the nation in climate and clean energy policies with programs like Green Communities, which provides innovative and cost-effective solutions for cities and towns,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The efforts of municipalities like the City of Quincy and other communities receiving grant awards today are instrumental as we work to meet the Commonwealth’s target of Net Zero emissions by 2050.”

“Across the Commonwealth, there are countless cities and towns that are helping to create cleaner, healthier, and more affordable places to live,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By working closely with our local leaders, we continue to make significant reductions in harmful greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs.”

Under the Green Communities Act, cities and towns must meet five criteria to be designated a Green Community and receive funding. The grants provide financial support for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the designated communities’ clean energy goals. Two-hundred and eighty Massachusetts cities and towns have currently earned the Green Communities designation, which accounts for 87 percent of the Commonwealth’s population. This tenth annual round of DOER Green Communities competitive grants is awarded to existing Green Communities that have successfully invested their initial designation grants and previous competitive grant awards. Grants are capped at $200,000 per municipality. Funding for Green Communities Competitive Grant is made available through proceeds from carbon allowance auctions under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

“Climate Week in Massachusetts provides a great opportunity to highlight the critical role state and local partnerships play in helping the Commonwealth achieve its nation-leading climate and clean energy goals,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “Expanding access to clean energy technologies and helping municipalities meet their own efficiency targets reduces pollution and improves air quality in our communities while creating new opportunities for economic development.”

“DOER is proud to collaborate with communities throughout the Commonwealth to achieve significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions and achieve our shared climate goals,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Patrick Woodcock. “Importantly, these grants will assist municipalities in their ongoing efforts to create cleaner, more affordable, and healthier places to live.”

The $200,000 competitive grant awarded to the City of Quincy will go towards energy efficiency and clean transportation efforts. Projects include expansion of building controls and exhaust fans in schools, LED lighting in schools, and the purchase of five hybrid police cruisers to replace gasoline vehicles. The $200,000 grant will aid in funding $550,770 in projects, with the City contributing $270,688 and utilities providing $80,000 incentives. DOER has awarded the City of Quincy $1,020,325 through four Green Communities grants since 2010. Since its designation in 2011, the City has achieved energy savings of 61,290 MMBTUs and 7251 metric tons of CO2.

“I am proud of what the Legislature has done over the past decade to make our Commonwealth a greener and more climate-resilient state,” said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano. “The grants being awarded today are an important component of those efforts and I applaud the local officials, particularly those in my hometown of Quincy, for their work in making their communities a healthier and safer place to live for their residents.”

“The Baker-Polito Administration fully understands the importance of addressing the issues of a changing climate,” said Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch. “Their ongoing commitment to working with cities and towns across the Commonwealth through Green Communities funding to meet our shared goal of achieving sustainability is a clear testament to their vision.”

The collective grants announced today fund a range of projects from ventilation system upgrades to the installation of insulation and energy management systems at municipal buildings and facilities. Projects also include the installations of air-source heat pumps, hybrid police cruisers, and electric vehicles charging stations. The following municipalities received 2021 Green Communities Competitive Grant awards:

Abington$200,000Halifax$200,000Northborough$161,930
Acton$93,921Hamilton$157,382Northbridge$190,178
Arlington$99,632Hanson$143,336Orange$33,149
Ayer$92,037Harvard$195,647Oxford$200,000
Bolton$127,573Holyoke$195,603Quincy$200,000
Brockton$196,881Lancaster$35,300Rochester$172,115
Burlington$164,711Malden$122,249Rutland$173,270
Carver$160,526Manchester-by-the-Sea$36,493Sherborn$71,952
Charlton$199,006Marshfield$140,589Southborough$200,000
Chelsea$200,000Melrose$104,663Stoneham$200,000
Clarksburg$192,910Merrimac$50,178Sturbridge$122,531
Dartmouth$172,720Methuen$172,849Sutton$124,807
Dedham$31,279Millis$62,510Swampscott$100,000
Easton$91,741Milton$100,000Topsfield$61,186
Essex$140,400Montague$64,728Townsend$163,576
Fairhaven$184,956Nahant$195,457Truro$11,691
Fitchburg$151,283Natick$25,000Webster$168,444
Framingham$90,318Newton$100,000Winchendon$196,510
Grafton$200,000Northampton$100,000Winchester$78,591
  North Andover$192,589Windsor$45,595

Representing total cost savings of over $1.1 million annually and leveraging utility incentives of over $1.6 million, once completed, these grant-supported projects are estimated to yield energy savings of over 45,000 MMBTus, which translates to the amount of energy consumed by over 350 Massachusetts households annually. In greenhouse gas emissions terms, the projects are estimated to reduce emissions by 3,249 metric tons – roughly equal to taking over 838 cars off the road. For additional information on awarded projects and funding amounts, please click here.

During this year’s Climate Week in Massachusetts, the Baker-Polito Administration is highlighting its commitment to reducing emissions, mitigating the impacts of climate change, and building a more resilient Commonwealth. Throughout Climate Week, the Administration is holding events to spotlight important initiatives including offshore wind, land protection and conservation, the Greening the Gateway Cities program, and the expansion of clean energy in the Commonwealth. The Administration is also highlighting the urgent demand for funding to support climate resiliency in Massachusetts, and Governor Baker’s plan to immediately put to use part of Commonwealth’s direct federal aid from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support critical priorities in cities and towns. The Administration’s plan would commit $900 million to key energy and environmental initiatives, including $400 million to modernize critical water infrastructure and $300 million to support local climate resilience projects.

On March 26, 2021, Governor Baker signed comprehensive climate change legislation that enshrined the Administration’s target of Net Zero emissions by 2050 into law, significantly increased protections for Environmental Justice communities across Massachusetts, and authorized the Commonwealth to procure an additional 2,400 Megawatts (MW) of clean, reliable offshore wind energy by 2027. In September 2016, Governor Baker signed Executive Order 569 which lays out a comprehensive approach to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, and build a more resilient Commonwealth. In April 2021, the Administration announced it had achieved its goal of investing $1 billion in climate change mitigation in adaptation since 2015 through programs like the nation-leading Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program, which has now enrolled 93 percent of cities and towns in Massachusetts.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Only on WWLP.com | Digital First

More Digital First

Trending Stories