For Immediate Release - March 21, 2011

$3.6 Million Awarded to 18 New "Green Communities"

State's second round of Green Communities grants will fund solar panels, energy efficiency projects and more in cities and towns across Massachusetts

Map of Green Communities pdf format of Meet the 136 Green Communities
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BOSTON - The Patrick-Murray Administration today announced the next round of grants worth $3.6 million to the state's newest Green Communities - 18 cities and towns from Boston to the Berkshires that earned the designation last December, making them eligible for awards to fund local renewable power and energy efficiency projects that will advance both municipal and state clean energy goals.

"I applaud these 18 communities - and the 35 that came before them - for the critical role they are playing in creating a clean energy future for the Commonwealth," said Governor Deval Patrick. "Across the Commonwealth, cities and towns recognize the benefits, for the economy as well as the environment, of making clean energy choices."

The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) today announced the funding for an array of projects, including the purchase of hybrid municipal vehicles, installation of solar panels on town office buildings, funding for a municipal wind turbine, installation of high-efficiency street lights, and energy efficiency upgrades in the following new Green Communities: Boston, Dedham, Easton, Gardner, Gloucester, Harvard, Hatfield, Marlborough, Medway, Milton, Newburyport, New Salem, Scituate, Swampscott, Watertown, Wayland, Williamstown, and Winchester.

There are now 53 official Green Communities in Massachusetts, including 35 cities and towns named in the DOER's inaugural round of Green Communities designations last May.

"The Green Communities program provides cities and towns with the opportunity to increase efficiency and renewable energy alternatives," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "As we move forward with the second round of this program, our administration congratulates these municipalities who are forward thinking and support clean energy initiatives for their hometown and the Commonwealth."

DOER's Green Communities Grant Program uses funding from auctions of carbon emissions permits under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reward communities that win Green Communities designation by meeting five clean energy benchmarks:

• Adopting local zoning bylaw or ordinance that allows "as-of-right siting" for renewable and/or alternative energy R & D facilities, manufacturing facilities or generation units;
• Adopting an expedited permitting process related to the as-of-right facilities;
• Establishing a municipal energy use baseline and a program to reduce use by 20 percent within five years;
• Purchasing only fuel-efficient vehicles for municipal use, whenever such vehicles are commercially available and practicable; and
• Requiring all new residential construction over 3,000 square feet and all new commercial and industrial real estate construction to reduce lifecycle energy costs (i.e., adoption of an energy-saving building "stretch code").

"It is both exciting and encouraging to see the broad range of projects cities and towns are embracing with this round of Green Communities grants," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr., whose office includes DOER. "As they use these funds to become even 'greener,' these 18 communities will be investing in long-term energy savings for their taxpayers and partnering with our Administration to promote a stronger and more sustainable future for Massachusetts."

"With this program - the signature initiative of the Green Communities Act signed by Governor Patrick in 2008, Massachusetts leads the nation by helping cities and towns reach critical clean energy benchmarks, and then rewarding them with the means to go even further toward a clean energy future," DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia said.

DOER calculates Green Communities grants using a formula that caps awards at $1 million and provides each community with a $125,000 base grant - plus additional amounts based on per capita income and population, and for municipalities that meet Green Communities Criterion 1 for energy generation. Grants announced today include:

Boston: $1 million for energy conservation measures, including auto igniters for natural gas streetlights and lighting controls at municipal ball fields; and an upgrade of the energy management system for Copley Library and four library branches.

Dedham: $179,800 toward an energy savings performance contract in municipal buildings.

Easton: $168,300 for energy conservation measures in municipal buildings, including replacement of the rooftop HVAC air handling unit at the police station and new energy efficient boiler at Town Hall.

Gardner: $206,100 for energy conservation measures, including energy efficient boiler replacements, insulation, air sealing and a heating system evaluation at the high school and senior center; and a solar PV assessment.

Gloucester: $198,200 for energy conservation measures, including improvements to the O'Maley Middle School building envelope, demand control ventilation upgrades, and the installation of an energy saving ceiling and heat exchanger at the O'Maley Rink.

Harvard: $141,200 for energy conservation measures, including demand control ventilation and mechanical upgrades at the elementary school, an HVAC upgrade at the police station, energy efficient boiler replacement at the fire station, and a deep energy retrofit analysis for town hall.

Hatfield: $130,725 for energy conservation measures, including insulation and heating system upgrades at the water filtration plant office, installation of a heat recovery system at the wastewater treatment plant, an energy conservation study for town hall, and purchase of an electric light duty truck for multiple department use.

Marlborough: $217,125 for energy conservation measures at several municipal buildings, purchase of a hybrid vehicle, a site evaluation for a solar PV system, and to fund an Energy Efficiency Manager position.

Medway: $158,450 for energy conservation measures and energy audits at several town buildings including LED lighting replacements, anti-idling devices on all town vehicles, and window replacements.

Milton: $157,100 for energy conservation measures at several municipal buildings and funding toward the installation of a wind turbine on municipal land.

New Salem: $138,100 for a 20 kilowatt (kW) solar PV system.

Newburyport: $155,000 for energy conservation measures at the police station and city hall including air sealing, modification of the HVAC system, lighting replacement, and other mechanical systems improvements.

Scituate: $163,025 for energy conservation measures in municipal buildings, including insulation and weatherization.

Swampscott: $143,800 for energy conservation measures at municipal school buildings, including lighting retrofits and steam trap upgrades, and funding for a part-time Energy Manager.

Watertown: $192,825 for energy conservation, measures, including replacement of street and parking lot lighting with LED technology.

Wayland: $131,775 for energy conservation measures at several municipal and school buildings, including lighting upgrades and design of an energy retrofit for town hall to improve energy efficiency.

Williamstown: $142,000 for energy conservation measures at several municipal buildings, installation of a 6 kW solar PV array at the cemetery office building, and to fund an energy education and outreach program.

Winchester: $151,475 for energy conservation measures at municipal buildings and to fund an Energy Conservation Coordinator position.

In addition to grants, each Green Community receives a certificate from the Commonwealth, four road signs identifying it as an official Green Community, and at least one Big Belly solar trash compactor for municipal use.

Click here for more information on DOER's Green Communities program.