- Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards Clean Energy Grant to Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Jessica Ridlen, Communications Director, Mass DOER
Boston — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $208,670 in grant funding to the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts for the installation of a 75 kilowatt (kW) combined heat and power (CHP) system to generate both heat and electricity at the Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation. The new CHP system will reduce the Center’s electricity consumption by an estimated 624,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) and greenhouse gas emissions by 97 metric tons annually. The grant is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) under the Leading by Example Renewable Thermal Grant Program.
“The Commonwealth’s state facilities continue to play a major role in leading the way to adopt clean energy technologies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The installation of this new system will significantly reduce energy costs, allowing the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts to repurpose student tuition and taxpayer dollars to better serve the college community.”
“Through the Leading by Example program, state facilities and schools are able to implement smart energy reduction measures to become more sustainable and resilient,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We commend the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts for their environmental leadership and are proud to provide the resources they need to contribute to our shared goals of reducing energy use and combating climate change.”
The new on-site energy system is expected to result in $80,000 in in economic benefits through reduced energy costs and Alternative Energy Credits (AECs) revenue. The system utilizes natural gas and will provide resiliency benefits, as on-site standby generator capacity will enable the building to generate power to support back-up facilities for campus police and preserve long-term student research by maintaining critical laboratory and building loads during a power outage.
“Implementing clean energy technologies at state facilities is an important piece of our efforts to meet our Global Warming Solution Act emissions reduction requirements,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “By working together across state agencies to reduce our energy use, we can ensure the Commonwealth continues to lead the nation in building a cleaner, more cost-effective, and resilient energy future.”
“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to promoting partnerships across state agencies to reduce the Commonwealth’s energy costs, usage and emissions,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “DOER’s Leading by Example program continues to provide our partner agencies the tools they need to remain on the cutting edge of clean energy innovation.”
“This is a great project and it highlights the ongoing and strong partnership between DCAMM and DOER, contributing to the Commonwealth’s leadership in advancing renewable energy projects and reducing our carbon footprint,” said Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance Commissioner Carol Gladstone.
“This grant will result in MCLA’s ability to operate cleanly and more efficiently, and reduce expenses while doing so,” said State Senator Adam G. Hinds (D- Pittsfield). “The Massachusetts Senate prioritizes the Commonwealth’s clean energy future, and I am pleased MCLA will be contributing to our Global Warming Solutions Act emissions requirements by implementing this new system.”
The Leading by Example Renewable Thermal Grant Program seeks to promote the utilization of onsite clean heating and cooling technologies at state facilities. These technologies provide opportunities for state facilities to reduce energy costs as well as target a reduction in heating oil and electricity for heating needs. Increasing the adoption of clean heating and cooling technologies reduces state facility greenhouse gas emissions, energy costs and provides additional benefits such as improved energy resiliency.
The MCLA project is also the recipient of $91,000 from the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) Commonwealth Facility Fund for Energy Efficiency (CoFFEE) revolving loan fund, and a $46,670 National Grid utility incentive.
“We are delighted to receive this generous grant,” said MCLA President James F. Birge, Ph.D. “Over the past decade, despite a 14 percent growth in campus square footage, MCLA’s clean energy and sustainability initiatives resulted in a 19 percent reduction in campus greenhouse gas emissions. This funding, which will allow us to install a new combined heat and power system, will be an important boost to our sustainability efforts. We are grateful to the DOER for this support.”
The MCLA received a Leading by Example Award in 2017 for its clean energy and sustainability accomplishments that include substantial greenhouse gas emission reductions, eliminating use of potable water for on-campus irrigation, installing a Level-II electric vehicle charging station, adding a 197kW combined heat and power system at the central heating plant, and providing academic learning opportunities with solar photovoltaic and a wind turbine at the Feigenbaum Center.
The Leading by Example Program works with state agencies to meet specific targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions, energy consumption reduction and renewable energy procurements. Since 2007, state agencies and public higher education campuses have made significant progress, including collectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent, generating 20 percent of electricity demand from onsite renewable and combined heat and power sources, installing 23 megawatts of solar capacity, reducing heating oil use by 84 percent, and installing 116 electric vehicle charging stations.
As part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to combat and prepare for climate change, Governor Baker recently filed legislation to authorize over $1.4 billion in capital allocations for investments in safeguarding residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, protecting environmental resources, and investing in communities. The legislation would put into law essential components of Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569, which established an integrated strategy for climate change adaptation across the Commonwealth, including the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program and the Statewide Hazard Mitigation and Adaptation Plan – a blueprint to protect residents, communities, and local economies.