PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION CELEBRATES CARVER ARRA-FUNDED SOLAR PANEL INSTALLATION
CARVER – Friday, October 5, 2012 – Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia today joined state and local officials to cut the ribbon at a 99 kilowatt solar project in Carver. The installation, supported with a $150,000 grant through President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will provide 100 percent of the energy needs for the town’s water treatment plant.
The solar project, installed by SolareAmerica, is on Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) property along Route 44 and is only the third solar installation in the nation built along a divided highway.
“We’re proud to help communities like Carver find ways to increase renewable energy generation and decrease energy costs,” said Commissioner Sylvia. “Investing in projects like this will bring us closer to our aggressive renewable energy goals and create a cleaner, more sustainable energy future for the Commonwealth.”
"MassDOT is pleased to partner on this important project," said MassDOT Highway Administrator Frank DePaola. "We will continue to pursue and support similar, innovative efforts that provide cost savings and alternative energy sources for the people of the Commonwealth."
“I am extremely pleased with the development of this solar project,” said Senator Marc Pacheco. “By greening up the bottom line, Carver’s water treatment facility now has a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way of providing for its energy needs.”
“This is a perfect example of a project that was carefully planned and located in an appropriate area for a specific public benefit,” said Representative Susan Williams Gifford. “It is a project the entire community can be proud of.”
“We are extremely proud to have taken this innovative step for Carver,” said Jack Hunter, Director of Planning and Community Development, Town of Carver. “This project will save our town money and put Carver on the map as a leader in renewable energy.”
“It is our goal to educate communities and younger generations everywhere about the importance of solar energy and the benefits it provides,” said John Scorsone, President, SolareAmerica. “We are proud to be a part of projects like this that will make a difference for generations to come.”
The funding for the project comes from a $14.7 million ARRA Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, administered by DOER’s Green Communities Division. Through this program, ninety-one municipalities have completed construction of energy projects. The projects ranged from renewable energy installations to thermal efficiency, including insulation, new windows and HVAC systems.
Governor Patrick has set ambitious goals for renewable energy: 250 MW of installed solar power by 2017 and 2,000 MW of wind energy by 2020. Governor Patrick also signed into law in 2008 The Green Communities Act, Global Warming Solutions Act, and Green Jobs Act – all of which have made Massachusetts an energy efficiency and renewable energy leader.
There are now 162 megawatts of solar power installed in the 340 communities across the Commonwealth, a nearly 50-fold increase in the amount of solar electricity installed since 2007 when Governor Patrick took office. That represents enough power for more than 25,000 homes each year. It also represents greenhouse gas emission reductions equivalent to the emissions from more than 17,000 cars.
In August 2012, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) announced Massachusetts’ clean energy economy grew by 11.2 percent from July 2011 to July 2012. According to the 2012 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report, the growing sector now employs 71,523 people at 4,995 clean energy firms across Massachusetts.
President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February 2009 to stimulate the nation’s economy and put people back to work. With Governor Patrick’s advocacy, Massachusetts received $7.5 billion in Recovery Act awards since the start of the program. Of that amount, $7.17 billion has been committed to state projects and $7.1 billion of the committed awards have already been spent to support programs and projects across the Commonwealth, including 423 projects worth $2.62 billion that are fully completed. The $7.1 billion spent is comprised of $4.34 billion toward direct benefits, such as Unemployment Insurance and Medicaid, and $2.76 billion to programs and infrastructure projects throughout the state.