For Immediate Release - October 25, 2010

Patrick-Murray Administration Presents Green Communities Awards to Andover, Chelmsford, Hamilton, Lowell, Tyngsborough, and Wenham

Grants will help municipalities get "greener" through local energy efficiency and renewable energy projects

LOWELL - October 25, 2010 - In keeping with the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to clean energy, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Ian Bowles today congratulated officials from Andover, Chelmsford, Hamilton, Lowell, Tyngsborough and Wenham for clean energy efforts that qualified them to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in state Green Communities grants to finance projects that cut energy use.

"These cities and towns are valued partners in the Commonwealth's progress toward Governor Patrick's vision of a clean energy future," said Secretary Bowles. "I congratulate them on earning Green Communities grants that will help them take critical next steps to green their operations and reduce both their energy costs and their greenhouse gas emissions."

At an award ceremony in Lowell today, Secretary Bowles presented municipal officials with Green Communities certificates and congratulated them on grants that will finance the following projects:

Andover: $160,329 for a municipal lighting retrofit project at six school buildings: the Doherty Middle School, High Plain Elementary School/Wood Hill Middle School, Sanborn Elementary School, South Elementary School, West Elementary School and at two municipal buildings: Public Safety Center and Town House.

Chelmsford: $187,224 for a 30-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system at Parker Middle School.

Hamilton: $144,819 to buy down the cost of an energy savings performance contract for implementation of energy conservation measures at the Town Hall, Council on Aging, Recreation Department and Public Safety Building.

Lowell: $546,506 to supplement existing residential and commercial energy efficiency incentive programs and to buy down the cost of an energy savings performance contract for implementation of energy conservation measures across all municipal buildings.

Tyngsborough: $161,649 for building envelope improvements in town offices and the Tyngsborough Middle School and Administration Offices.

Wenham: $138,974 to buy down the cost of an energy savings performance contract for implementation of energy conservation measures at the Town Hall, Fire Station, Police Station, Council on Aging and Public Library.

The six communities honored today were among the 35 cities and towns across the state that met the criteria to be designated as Green Communities pdf format of Meet the 123 Green Communities
by the Department of Energy Resources' (DOER) Green Communities Division last spring. These communities applied in June for grants to fund local clean energy projects and were notified of their grants this summer.

DOER awarded $8.1 million in grants based on a minimum award of $125,000 for each Green Community, with the maximum amount adjusted for population and per capita income.

"Andover, Chelmsford, Hamilton, Lowell, Tyngsborough, and Wenham are among the Commonwealth's municipal clean energy pacesetters, setting an example for the many other cities and towns we hope will meet the criteria to be Green Communities and apply for our next round of grants next year," said DOER Commissioner Phil Giudice.

The signature program of the landmark Green Communities Act of 2008, the DOER's Green Communities Grant Program uses funding from auctions of carbon emissions permits under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reward communities that earn Green Communities designation by meeting five clean energy benchmarks:

  • Adopting local zoning bylaw or ordinance that allows "as-of-right-siting" of renewable energy projects;
  • Adopting an expedited permitting process related to the as-of-right facilities;
  • Establishing a municipal energy use baseline and establishing a program designed 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 pdf format of Stretch Code Adoption by Community
").

In preparation for the next program of grants, DOER will take applications until November 19 from cities and towns interested in being designated as Green Communities. Designated communities will then have from December 17, 2010 to January 21, 2011 to apply for local clean energy grants.

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