For Immediate Release - December 22, 2016

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $245,000 Grant for Solar Canopy Installation at State Facility

Funding Will Support Solar Canopy Installation at MassDOT Building

BOSTON – December 22, 2016– The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $245,000 in grant funding for the installation of a 490 kW solar canopy at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) research and materials facility in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. The funding is provided by the Department of Energy Resources’ (DOER) Leading by Example Clean Energy Grant Program for Solar Photovoltaic Canopies, which seeks to increase installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) parking canopies and innovative solar PV technologies at state facilities. Today’s grant announcement represents the sixth award from DOER’s Leading by Example solar canopy grant program since 2014 and has resulted in the installation of over 6.5 MW of solar power at state facilities.

“Integrating solar technologies into MassDOT’s new research and materials facility demonstrates their commitment to embracing innovative technologies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Commonwealth’s state facilities continue to lead by example in adopting new clean energy practices that reduce energy costs and emissions for all ratepayers.”

“Our Administration is committed to working across agencies to ensure clean energy innovation is implemented where it can have the greatest impact,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This solar canopy will allow MassDOT to save energy costs and repurpose those resources for more vital operations while reducing emissions.”

The new MassDOT facility, currently under construction and nearing completion, will house the statewide research and materials testing laboratory. The 490 kW solar canopy, in conjunction with a 40 kW rooftop solar PV system, will help offset a substantial portion of the building’s electrical demand. The solar canopy project, which includes two Level II Dual-head electric vehicle charging stations, will be built at no cost to MassDOT through a third-party agreement with Ameresco.

“The Commonwealth is at the forefront of integrating clean energy and energy efficiency technologies into our new state construction, setting the pace for the rest of the state and nation to follow our lead,” said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton. “As the cost of solar installations continues to decrease, the Baker-Polito Administration is committed to expanding clean energy integration to state facilities.”

“We are proud to work closely with the Department of Energy Resources and our partners in state government to incorporate innovative energy technologies into our transportation projects and systems,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to adopting renewable and clean energy technologies that allow us to minimize our environmental impact and lower energy costs across the Commonwealth.”

In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lowering MassDOT’s electricity costs and contributing to the building’s LEED certification, the solar canopy will also provide shade and shelter from the elements for all customers and staff. MassDOT will use this project as a pilot as they explore further deployment of solar canopies at their facilities statewide.

“Through close collaboration with our fellow state agencies, DOER continues to prove that clean and renewable energy technologies can be successfully and cost effectively integrated into new state construction projects,” said DOER Commissioner Judith Judson. “We are committed to working closely with our partners across state government to ensure that Massachusetts remains a leader for clean energy building practices.”

Solar canopy installations provide opportunities to state facilities to generate clean renewable electricity at operating parking areas, while reducing heat absorption on parking surfaces and shading parked vehicles. DOER has provided grants to install solar canopies at five additional sites, including Roxbury Community College, University of Massachusetts Amherst (two projects), University of Massachusetts Lowell and Department of Conservation and Recreation Walden Pond Visitor Center.

“In the Legislature and in MetroWest communities, we continue to encourage innovative clean energy technologies, economic development and sustainability,” said State Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “Hopkinton has a strong record in clean energy innovation, and this new installation will help our community to expand solar power at a lower cost.”

“Communities and businesses in the MetroWest have been leading the way in solar energy for a long time. The new MassDOT installation in Hopkinton is another exciting step forward for our area,” said State Representative Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston). “This leadership by the state sets a great example for others and will result in environmental benefits as well as savings for residents of the Commonwealth.”

The program is funded by an allocation of Alternative Compliance Payment (ACP) funds. ACP funds are paid by electric retail suppliers if they have insufficient Renewable or Alternative Energy Certificates to meet their compliance obligations under the Renewable and Alternative Portfolio Standard programs.

The Leading by Example (LBE) program works with state agencies to meet specific target for greenhouse gas emission reductions, energy consumption reduction and renewable energy procurement. Since 2007, state agencies have made significant progress, including reducing GHG emissions by 26 percent, generating 15 percent of electricity demand from onsite renewable and combined heat and power sources, and reducing heating oil use by 78 percent. LBE results have contributed to Massachusetts being ranked for the past five years as the number one state for energy efficiency in the country by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
 

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