Central Massachusetts Regional Coordinator Kelly Brown was already a soldier in the Patrick-Murray Administration’s clean energy revolution when she arrived at DOER in 2009, having cut her energy teeth on the vanguard of the state’s solar revolution as lead administrator of the Administration’s Commonwealth Solar rebate program. Designed to put the Commonwealth on the path to Governor Patrick’s goal of 250 megawatts of solar power by 2017 by spurring the installation of 27 MW in four years, Commonwealth Solar wildly exceeded expectations – reaching its goal two years ahead of schedule and jumpstarting a dramatic expansion of solar power from just over 3 MW statewide in 2007 to 205 MW today.
“I liked that it was innovative, a new technology,” Brown said. “Very few companies in Massachusetts were installing solar at that time and I really got to work with the industry as it grew. I enjoyed being part of that.”
Brown continued to be part of an emerging trend when she joined DOER’s Green Communities Division, helping to launch the Designation and Grant Program, which went from zero Green Communities to 110 in less than two and a half years. Last summer, the Commonwealth’s cadre of official Green Communities expanded to include Leominster, a point of pride for Brown who has lived there since 2006.
“Now not only do I talk about how to become a Green Community, but I live in a Green Community. It feels wonderful,” she said.
After earning an International Business degree at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, Brown worked in sales and marketing before going to the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust (now part of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center) – honing skills in outreach, education, and face-to-face technical assistance that contribute to her success as a Green Communities regional coordinator. Part of DOER’s four-member team of regional coordinators, Brown says the availability of locally-based support is critical to enabling municipalities to reach their clean energy goals. For 20 of the 76 cities and towns in Brown’s region, those goals have included designation as official Green Communities and eligibility for clean energy grants.
“The other regional coordinators and I work together and share information across regions. There’s a big benefit to be able to pull information from the other regions of the state,” she said. “It’s great to have the opportunity to work with municipal officials or energy volunteers over a period of time and capture the benefits that include educating the rest of the community.”