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BOSTON – September 7, 2017 — The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $661,000 in grants to 56 cities and towns across the Commonwealth to develop clean energy projects. The Department of Energy Resource’s (DOER) Municipal Energy Technical Assistance (META) grants, which are utilized by designated Green Communities or municipalities in the designation process to better inform their clean energy decision-making, are awarded to Massachusetts municipalities, regional school districts, and water/wastewater districts to aid in the management of projects or the performance of studies to support the development of energy projects. The awards were announced by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito at events in Middlefield, Dalton, and Williamsburg.
“Our administration is proud to provide our municipal and regional partners with the tools they need to reach our shared clean energy goals of reduced ratepayer costs, usage and emissions,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Municipal Energy Technical Assistance grants deliver crucial technical expertise to the local level, paving the way for innovative clean energy projects.”
“Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in clean energy because of the foresight and leadership of our cities, towns, and regional planning authorities,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The Department of Energy Resource’s Green Communities program is an innovative partnership that connects state and local resources to increase the adoption of clean energy and energy efficiency policies and practices.”
Open to all 351 cities and towns, as well as regional planning authorities, META grants fund the services of expert consultants and contractors to assist with a diverse array of local energy projects. Applicants in the grant round that opened in June were eligible to apply for grants of up to $12,500. A function of DOER’s Green Communities Division, the META grants are funded through proceeds from Alternative Compliance Payments under the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard.
“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to developing partnerships with municipal officials and regional planning authorities as we strive to integrate more renewable energy and meet our ambitious Global Warming Solutions Act emissions reduction target,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Municipal Energy Technical Assistance grants provide critical resources not normally readily available to cities and towns that move them closer to realizing new clean energy projects.”
“DOER is committed to partnering with Massachusetts’ municipalities to achieve our goal of a clean, affordable, and resilient energy future for the Commonwealth,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “META grants consistently provide the catalyst for local energy projects to begin moving from concept to a fully realized project.”
The awarded funding for projects will be undertaken by the following communities and public entities:
Norfolk County Ag. High School
Northbridge School District
Quaboag Regional Schools
Freetown-Lakeville Regional Schools
“By assisting our cities and towns in building the foundations for a green energy future, Massachusetts again shows our commitment to reducing carbon emissions, meeting the targets set forth in the Global Warming Solutions Act, and building a stronger sustainable environment for future generations,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “These grants provide critical technical assistance and funding for our communities to thrive for future generations.”
“I am pleased the Town of Wellesley, the Town of Plainville and the Norfolk County Agricultural High School have received META grants. Prioritizing clean energy in our towns and schools is essential for the future of our residents as well as the environmental stability of our community,” said State Senator Richard J. Ross (R-Wrentham). “Massachusetts is at the forefront of clean energy technology thanks to the efforts of the Baker Administration and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.”
“These grants provide crucial funding that give cities and towns the technical assistance they need to make informed energy decisions at the municipal level,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton).
“This funding is a great example of progress made possible through the effective collaboration of local and state governments, and is a great resource for communities looking for a way to utilize clean energy technology and become more energy efficient,” said State Senator Adam G. Hinds (D-Pittsfield). “I am happy to see a number of towns from Western Massachusetts participating in such initiatives and coming one step closer to success thanks to DOER’s META grant program.”
“I am very pleased that 9 of the small towns in the First Franklin District which have been designated as Green Communities are being awarded additional grants to continue their energy efficiency efforts,” said State Representative Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington). “Massachusetts leads the nation in energy innovation, and these investments will pay dividends by improving environmental quality and lowering energy costs in the towns. I thank the Baker-Polito Administration for this productive municipal partnership.”
“I am pleased that Middleborough and Wareham are on this year's list of grant recipients,” said State Representative Susan Gifford (R-Wareham). “My thanks go to the Baker-Polito Administration for again demonstrating that they are not just listening to our local community leaders but delivering valuable financial assistance in order for them to move toward their clean energy project goals.”
“The Green Communities program encourages and helps reward local communities as they become leaders in protecting our environment, using resources more efficiently, and developing renewable and sustainable energy projects. These grants will directly support the towns of Bernardston, Charlemont, Colrain, Dalton, Heath, Peru, Pittsfield, and many others throughout Massachusetts in developing such programs,” said State Representative Paul Mark (D-Peru). “Congratulations to each of the towns for taking the initiative to join the Green Communities program and for pursuing this grant in order to help realize these important goals.”
Projects and studies receiving funding will support the performance of solar photovoltaic site evaluation, heating system replacements, ASHRAE Level II audits, technical analysis of energy use at drinking water and wastewater facilities and technical assistance with Green Community reporting and application.
Led by Commissioner Judith Judson, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) develops and implements policies and programs aimed at ensuring the adequacy, security, diversity, and cost-effectiveness of the Commonwealth's energy supply to create a clean, affordable and resilient energy future. To that end, DOER strives to ensure deployment of all cost-effective energy efficiency, maximize development of clean energy resources, create and implement energy strategies to assure reliable supplies and improve the cost of clean energy relative to fossil-fuel based generation and support Massachusetts' clean energy companies and spur Massachusetts' clean energy employment. DOER is an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).
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