For Immediate Release - October 09, 2012

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES CLEAN ENERGY GRANTS FOR THREE COMMUNTIY COLLEGES

First-ever grants via clean energy investment program for state facilities

BOSTON –  Tuesday, October 9, 2012 – Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan today announced $713,814 in grants to three Massachusetts community colleges to invest in clean energy projects on their respective campuses.

The grants were awarded through the Department of Energy Resources’ (DOER) Leading by Example program to support a wind turbine at Bristol Community College in Fall River, a ground source heat pump system at Middlesex Community College in Bedford, and a solar thermal project at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester.

“Our community colleges are centers for excellence in education and career development. With these grants, these schools take on a new leadership role by adopting clean and renewable energy projects, which create jobs and stabilize long-term energy costs,” said Governor Deval Patrick.

“Across the Commonwealth officials are making energy efficiency and renewable energy investments in facilities like these to protect our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to develop home-grown energy that reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy,” said Secretary Sullivan.

The Leading by Example program was established by an April 2007 Executive Order in which Governor Patrick directed agencies of state government to improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, and increase use of renewable power. The Executive Order set aggressive targets for a reduction of state government greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent, reduce energy consumption at state-owned and leased facilities by 20 percent, and obtain 15 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2012. In addition, it established the Mass LEED-Plus building standard for new state construction, which requires energy performance to be 20 percent better than code.

“In Massachusetts, Governor Patrick has set ambitious goals aimed at protecting our environment and increasing our use of renewable energy and programs like this one help us meet these goals by investing in our clean energy future,” said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia.

To meet these goals, the Leading by Example program works collaboratively with various state agencies including the Division of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) and Operational Services.

"It is tremendously gratifying to see the Patrick-Murray Administration's goal of helping schools adopt clean and renewable energy standards at their facilities," said Division of Capital Asset Management Commissioner Carole Cornelison.  "We are working hard to build clean and renewable energy based projects at public higher education facilities in every region of the Commonwealth, and these grants are yet another example of the Administration's commitment to that goal."

This is the first round of Leading by Example Clean Energy Grants awarded. The Leading by Example program has available an additional $1.2 million for other clean energy projects at state facilities which will be awarded over the next several months. The funding for the program is made available through Alternative Compliance Payments from the Commonwealth’s Renewable and Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard programs.

“Bristol Community College is an integral and valued part of the Southeastern Massachusetts community, and has proven itself to be a beacon of innovation. BCC’s installation of a wind turbine on their campus shows the school’s commitment to sustainability and our environment,” said Sen. Michael Rodrigues. “I am pleased that the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has recognized BCC’s contributions, awarding them a Department of Energy Resources Leading by Example grant.”

“I applaud Quinsigamond Community College for earning these well earned grants from the Leading by Example Program. This is great news for the campus and our environment and the initiative is a further example of why Massachusetts has once again been ranked as the number one state in the nation for its energy efficiency policies and programs,” said Sen. Harriette Chandler.

“I commend Quinsigamond Community College for recognizing the enormous value of energy efficiency and pursuing projects like this to promote conservation. They truly are leading by example,” said Sen. Michael Moore.

“I would like to thank the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, led by Secretary Richard Sullivan, for the $600,000 grant provided to BCC for the building of their wind turbine,” said Rep. Paul Schmid. “Congratulations also to BCC for all their hard work and efforts in becoming a leader in green energy here in Fall River and as a model campus throughout the Commonwealth.”

“Middlesex Community College is a valuable asset to the district, to the students it serves, and to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” said Rep. Charley Murphy. “This investment will save energy and resources that can be invested in furthering the academic mission of the college. I applaud Secretary Sullivan for helping to fund this innovative, efficient new heating system that will serve Middlesex Community College for many years to come.”

Details of the first three Clean Energy Grants are as follows:

Bristol Community College: $600,000 to help offset costs for the installation of a 900 kilowatt wind turbine on their Fall River campus. The total project cost of this wind turbine is $3.2 million and the annual reductions are estimated at 1.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity and more than $218,000 in energy costs. The remainder of the project will be funded through the state’s Clean Energy Investment Program, which provides low interest bonds for clean energy projects that are then paid for through the energy savings. The project will be overseen by DCAM and is expected to start construction later this year.  

Middlesex Community College: $75,514 to help offset the cost of a ground source heat pump at the Trustee’s House in Bedford. The total project cost of this project is $308,189 and the remainder of project cost will be covered by a federal grant. Annual savings are estimated to be 27,965 kilowatt hours of electricity and $10,000 in energy costs. In addition, the project will provide useful information about ground source heat pump technology, installation procedures, and operational issues, all of which will support successful future projects at other state facilities. Ground source heat pump technology uses the relatively constant heat from underground to provide hearing and cooling year round much more efficiently than standard furnaces and chillers.

Quinsigamond Community College: $38,300 for a solar thermal system at the College’s Administration Building in Worcester. The total project cost of this solar thermal system is $52,000 and the remainder of the project cost will be covered by the College and a grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. This system will provide approximately 70 percent of the hot water demand at the College’s Administration Building, which houses a cafeteria, the dental school, and administration offices. The system will reduce the campus’s energy costs, emissions of greenhouse gas emissions, and will be incorporated into the curriculum.

To learn more about the LBE program you can visit www.mass.gov/eea/leadingbyexample.