- Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards Clean Energy Grant to Massachusetts National Guard Center
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded a $256,250 grant to the Massachusetts National Guard to support the installation of a 205 kW solar canopy at the Natick Readiness Center in Natick, MA. The Readiness Center’s project marks the eighth solar canopy grant awarded by the Leading by Example Solar Canopy grant program from the Department of Energy Resources (DOER).
“The Commonwealth is a national leader in solar energy because of the forward thinking approach to clean energy across all levels of government,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “A new solar canopy at the Natick Readiness Center will allow the Massachusetts National Guard to save on energy costs and reinvest those funds into readiness initiatives.”
The 205 kW solar canopy installation is expected to produce approximately 260,000 kWh of electricity each year, enough to offset approximately 82 percent of the facility’s electricity consumption and save close to $30,000 in annual energy costs. The project will also include a Level II Dual-head EV Charging stations as well as pre-wiring for additional stations to be added in the future. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lowering the facility’s electricity costs, the solar canopy will also provide shade and shelter from the elements for all visitors and staff.
“As the Commonwealth works to achieve our ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals, the continued adoption of clean energy technologies by our partner agencies is a crucial component of those efforts,” said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton. “Solar canopies not only provide a wealth of clean, renewable energy, but opportunities for electric vehicle charging and a more comfortable environment for National Guard staff and visitors.”
“This is an investment in our facility and in the Soldiers and Airmen who serve there,” said Major General Gary W. Keefe, the Adjutant General, Massachusetts National Guard. “We are constantly looking for ways to be more efficient in our efforts to provide ready forces for the Commonwealth. This will enable us to save on energy costs and reinvest resources where they are needed most.”
The 2017 Leading by Example Clean Energy Grant Program for Solar Canopies & Innovative Solar seeks to increase installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) parking canopies and innovative solar PV technologies at state facilities. Solar Canopies 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. Large solar PV canopy projects will also assist in meeting the energy goals of the Leading by Example Program and can substantially reduce facility energy costs.
“The Department of Energy Resources is proud to partner with Massachusetts’ finest to provide long-term energy savings so that they can focus on their important mission,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “As we work to secure a clean, affordable, resilient energy future for the Commonwealth renewable energy sources like solar canopies will play an important role.”
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.
“Solar canopies are key for generating clean energy and reducing costs,” said State Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “This is terrific news as Natick and the Commonwealth continue our efforts to diversify the state’s energy portfolio to protect our environment and ensure a sustainable future.”
“I am very pleased to see the Natick Readiness Center receive this grant to help with the installation of a solar canopy,” said State Representative David Linsky (D-Natick). “Reducing our carbon footprint through sustainable energy practices is essential, and I applaud Natick for its commitment to clean, renewable energy sources.”
“Solar is an underutilized source of energy right at our fingertips. I am pleased the Commonwealth is taking steps towards energy efficiency,” said State Senator Richard J. Ross (R-Wrentham). “This solar canopy will generate power to the Natick National Guard Readiness Center as well as harness previously underutilized space. I thank MassDOER and the Baker-Polito Administration for their commitment to energy efficiency in Massachusetts.”
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 28 percent, generating 20 percent of electricity demand from onsite renewable and combined heat and power sources, and reducing heating oil use by 79 percent. LBE results have contributed to Massachusetts being ranked for the past seven years as the number one state for energy efficiency in the country by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE).