Patrick-Murray Administration Presents Green Communities Award to Beverly
BEVERLY – Thursday, May 10, 2011 -- Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. and Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia today presented a $206,475 grant to the city of Beverly, one of the state's newest Green Communities, to fund clean energy projects at city schools.
“It’s going to take the commitment from communities like Beverly to propel the clean energy revolution we’ve started here in Massachusetts. We’re proud to support investments that cut energy use, create jobs and protect our environment," said Secretary Sullivan.
The $206,475 grant will fund energy management systems and ventilation and air conditioning equipment upgrades at multiple schools and the public library.
Last week, DOER awarded its latest round of grants worth $2 million to the state's newest 12 Green Communities, including Beverly. DOER's recent grant round funds an array of projects across the state, including the installation of solar panels on town office buildings, weatherization at schools and municipal buildings, installation of high-efficiency street lights, and several energy efficiency upgrades. In addition to Beverly, awards were made to Ashfield, Barre, Bridgewater, Chesterfield, Leverett, Maynard, Provincetown, Quincy, Rowe, Shirley and Weston. They joined 74 other cities and towns named in previous rounds of Green Communities designations, bringing the total number of official Green Communities to 86. These communities are eligible for awards to fund local renewable power and energy efficiency projects that will advance both municipal and state clean energy goals.
With these latest designations, 42 percent of Massachusetts residents - 2.7 million people - now live in Green Communities across the Commonwealth. All of the 86 Green Communities committed to reduce their municipal energy consumption by 20 percent. This commitment collectively equates to the annual energy consumption of more than 13,000 Massachusetts homes and the greenhouse gases from more than 16,800 cars.
“Renewable energy and energy efficiency projects funded by Green Communities grants are a triple win - saving municipal dollars in the long run, while cutting fossil fuel consumption and helping the Commonwealth meet its statewide clean energy goals,” said Commissioner Sylvia.
Massachusetts has increased solar installations 30-fold since Governor Deval Patrick took office – increasing from 3.5 megawatts (MW) in 2007 to 105 MW installed today. The amount of wind energy installed has jumped from 3.1 MW in 2007 to more than 54 MW today. Governor Patrick has set statewide goals of 250 MW of solar power by 2017 and 2,000 MW of wind power by 2020.
The Green Communities Act, which created DOER’s Green Communities Designation and Grant program, was cited by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) as a primary reason for ACEEE’s 2011 ranking of Massachusetts as first in the nation for energy efficiency policies and programs, moving California out of the top spot for the first time since the ranking was first published four years ago. ACEEE’s October report pointed to the effectiveness of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s integrated approach to creating jobs, helping clean energy businesses thrive, improving energy security and lowering energy costs, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Massachusetts sits at the end of the energy pipeline, lacking indigenous fossil fuel sources and spending $22 billion each year to run power plants, fuel vehicles and businesses, and heat buildings. Of that sum, Massachusetts spends 80 percent on foreign energy sources such as those in other states, Canada and the Middle East. That’s nearly $18 billion in lost economic opportunity that Massachusetts stands poised to reclaim through investments in home-grown renewable energy and energy efficiency such as those supported by Green Communities grants.
In addition to grants, each Green Community is presented with a certificate from the Commonwealth and four road signs identifying it as an official Green Community.
“It is wonderful that the Commonwealth is recognizing Beverly’s commitment to making our municipal buildings more energy efficient,” said Rep. Jerry Parisella. “Beverly has a history of being a leader in environmental innovation, as evidenced by the solar panels first installed in the Carter administration that provide electricity to the High School. The funds provided by the state will not only help reduce Greenhouse gases, but also save the city and its taxpayers money by reducing energy costs.”
“Beverly is pleased to join the growing list of Green Communities throughout Massachusetts. Beverly is working hard to reduce the demand side for electrical energy while increasing the supply of alternative energy. In the past few months Beverly has added 83 kW of solar on the roof of its recently completed high school academic wing,” said Beverly Mayor Bill Scanlon.
Click here for more information on DOER's Green Communities program.