Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Awards $1 Million Renewable Energy Grant to Holyoke

Grant Will Allow Holyoke to Expand Hydropower Generation and Reduce Energy Costs
For immediate release:
3/11/2016
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $1 Million Renewable Energy Grant to Holyoke

Katie Gronendyke,

Boston — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $1 million in grant funding to support the expansion of low-cost renewable power in the City of Holyoke. The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has made $2 million available for grants to municipalities with active or decommissioned coal generation facilities to develop and implement a clean energy strategy for the municipalities’ energy use, including the building of a renewable energy project. In addition to the City of Holyoke, the City of Salem and the Town of Somerset are eligible for grant funds for qualified projects.

“This grant will allow the City of Holyoke to provide its citizens with low-cost clean energy through the expansion of a hydropower generation unit,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Partnering with communities to help them meet their energy needs will help the Commonwealth to continue to lead the way on clean energy, energy efficiency and the adoption of innovative technologies.”

“These grants allow municipalities to replace coal-generated energy with clean energy, cutting energy costs for ratepayers while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Through this program and others, the Baker-Polito Administration is working with cities and towns across the Commonwealth to help them achieve their clean energy goals.”

The $1 million grant will support the rehabilitation and capacity expansion of an existing hydropower generation unit at Hadley Fall in Holyoke. The nameplate capacity of the generator prior to the upgrade is 15 MW, and the capacity after the unit overhaul will be 16.97 MW. Specifically, this money will fund final construction, testing and the application into the Renewable Portfolio Standard later this year.

“The Baker-Polito Administration is proud to help communities impacted by plant closures and assist Holyoke in developing a clean energy strategy that will both support the local economy and protect the environment,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “We need the help of cities and towns to continue Massachusetts’ leadership in energy efficiency, renewable energy and emissions reductions.”

“This award is just one example of how we are working with communities through grants and technical assistance to achieve the Commonwealth’s energy goals,” said DOER Commissioner Judson. “DOER continues to work with cities and towns as we move toward a clean, affordable and resilient energy future.”

This $2 million grant program is funded through Alternative Compliance Payments (ACP), which are paid by electrical retail suppliers if they have insufficient Renewable or Alternative Energy Certificates to meet their compliance obligations under the Renewable and Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard programs. 

“Investments in local energy projects, like expanding the capacity of Hadley Falls Power Station, are critical to meeting residents’ energy needs and growing the Commonwealth’s sustainable energy portfolio,” said State Senator Don Humason (R-Westfield). “Thank you to the Baker Administration for supporting the City of Holyoke’s work to increase their ability to provide low-cost, renewable energy for city residents.”

“This grant will continue the efforts of Holyoke Gas & Electric and the city to be a Green City, a city that keeps energy costs low for residents and businesses while keeping environmental impacts at a minimum,” said State Representative Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke). “I am thankful to DOER for their commitment to the city of Holyoke as move away from fossil fueled energy to a more sustainable greener energy future.”

“I thank the Baker-Polito Administration for recognizing the significance of the Hadley Falls Dam and continuing to support of Holyoke’s ambitions to achieve a carbon-neutral electric supply in the coming years,” said Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse.

“Holyoke Gas & Electric (HG&E) currently maintains some of the lowest electricity rates in the Commonwealth and over 90% of HG&E’s electricity sold at retail is carbon free,” said HG&E General Manager Jim Lavelle. “This grant gives a significant boost to HG&E’s efforts to expand its portfolio of low-cost, clean energy in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner.”

The Baker-Polito Administration has been working to stabilize and reduce the cost of energy for residents and businesses, strengthen the clean energy economy in Massachusetts and help meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements set forth under the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). Through the filing of hydropower and solar legislation, the Administration hopes to diversify Massachusetts’ energy portfolio and encourage the development of renewable energy resources.

 

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Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards $1 Million Renewable Energy Grant to Holyoke

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs seeks to protect, preserve and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.

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