BOSTON — Wednesday, July 14, 2010 – In keeping with the Patrick-Murray Administration’s commitment to clean energy, Governor Deval Patrick today announced that 35 cities and towns that earned official Green Community status last month began reaping the benefits of that designation today – receiving grants for municipal renewable energy and energy efficiency projects worth $8.1 million statewide.

“These 35 cities and towns have already demonstrated outstanding leadership by qualifying to be Green Communities,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “With the grants they are receiving today, these communities can take critical next steps as our partners on the road toward a clean energy future.”

“With these grant awards, our administration is supporting a range of investments from state-of-the art energy efficiency buildings to local renewable energy installations, which will help communities create a stronger, more sustainable future for Massachusetts,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray.

Following their designation as Green Communities by the Department of Energy Resources’ (DOER) Green Communities Division, the following municipalities met a June 4 deadline to apply for $8.1 million in grants for local clean energy projects: Acton, Arlington, Athol, Andover, Becket, Belchertown, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Easthampton, Greenfield, Hamilton, Hanover, Holyoke, Hopkinton, Kingston, Lancaster, Lenox, Lexington, Lincoln, Lowell, Mashpee, Medford, Melrose, Montague, Natick, Newton, Northampton, Palmer, Pittsfield, Salem, Springfield, Sudbury, Tyngsboro, Wenham, and Worcester.

DOER reviewed the grant applications and awarded today’s grants based on a minimum award of $125,000 for each Green Community, with the maximum amount per community adjusted for population and per capita income.

“These 35 cities and towns are the pacesetters in a growing movement to make municipal operations cleaner and greener,” said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles, whose office includes DOER. “These grants will enable communities from Cape Cod to the Berkshires to cut waste, save energy dollars, create local jobs, and increase their energy independence.”

The signature program of the landmark Green Communities Act of 2008, the DOER’s Green Communities Grant Program uses funding from auctions of carbon emissions permits under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reward communities that earn Green Communities designation by meeting five clean energy benchmarks:

• Adopting local zoning bylaw or ordinance that allows “as-of-right-siting” of renewable energy projects;
• Adopting an expedited permitting process related to the as-of-right facilities;
• Establishing a municipal energy use baseline and establishing a program designed to reduce use by 20 percent within five years;
• Purchasing only fuel-efficient vehicles for municipal use, whenever such vehicles are commercially available and practicable; and
• Requiring all new residential construction over 3,000 square feet and all new commercial and industrial real estate construction to reduce lifecycle energy costs (i.e., adoption of an energy-saving building “stretch code”).

“DOER received an impressive array of thoughtful and ambitious proposals in this inaugural round of Green Communities grants,” DOER Commissioner Phil Giudice said. “I am pleased that we can assist these cities and towns as they further distinguish themselves as energy innovators.”

A list of Green Community grant amounts and projects follows:
Acton: $150,794 for energy conservation measures at the public library, an HVAC analysis of town hall, tankless hot water heaters and an energy education and outreach program

Andover: $160,329 for a municipal lighting retrofit project

Arlington: $200,188 to improve energy efficiency of lighting and steam traps, and for an energy management system at the Hardy School

Athol: $171,523 for energy efficiency improvements at the senior center, an HVAC analysis of the town hall and library, and a solar hot water system at the fire station

Becket: $141,326 for a new road salt shed closer to the center of town which will reduce vehicle miles traveled by snow removal vehicles

Belchertown: $160,917 to buy down cost of town’s energy management services contract for municipal buildings

Cambridge: $283,770 for an energy efficiency revolving fund

Chelmsford: $187,224 for a 30-kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) system at Parker Middle School

Easthampton: $174,985 for LED streetlights

Greenfield: $202,066 to buy down the cost of an energy management services company contract, community energy efficiency programs, and consulting services

Hamilton: $144,819 to buy down the cost of an energy management services company contract for municipal buildings

Hanover: $148,598 for incremental costs of a hybrid public safety command vehicle, energy efficiency measures in municipal buildings, and to support an energy staff person

Holyoke: $321,221 for energy efficient school, traffic and street lights and to insulate city hall

Hopkinton: $137,502 for various municipal building energy efficiency measures

Kingston: $163,528 for various municipal building energy efficiency measures

Lancaster: $141,114 for various energy efficiency measures, a solar PV project, and an energy analysis of the town hall

Lenox: $134,766 for energy efficiency measures and training, energy expert consulting services, community wind forums and a solar homes program

Lexington: $158,083 to buy down the cost of a solar PV project for multiple municipal buildings

Lincoln: $140,294 for school and other town building energy efficiency measures

Lowell: $546,506 for residential and commercial retrofit grant programs and to buy down the cost of an energy management services contract

Mashpee: $170,124 for energy efficiency measures in municipal buildings and educational outreach

Medford: $271,651 for energy efficiency measures in school buildings and to update the municipal climate action plan

Melrose: $176,265 for an energy efficient roof at Melrose High School, for energy expert consulting services, and to support the salary of an energy efficiency coordinator

Montague: $154,944 for a fine bubble aeration system to improve the efficiency of the wastewater treatment process at the public water pollution control facility

Newton: $179,500 to be leveraged with other funding to do energy efficiency measures as part of an energy managements services contract

Natick: $173,526 for a solar PV power purchase agreement at the middle school, for the incremental cost of hybrid vehicles, and for carbon dioxide sensors at town hall

Northampton: $198,500 for a 51 kW solar power project

Palmer: $169,103 to buy down the cost of an energy service company contract

Pittsfield: $256,632 for an energy management system at city hall

Salem: $245,624 for LED lights, to buy down the cost of an energy service company contract, and for home energy efficiency and bike sharing pilot programs

Springfield: $988,102 to improve the energy efficiency of boilers and vending machines and for five energy management systems

Sudbury: $136,238 for energy efficiency measures in municipal buildings and the incremental cost of a fuel efficient vehicle

Tyngsborough: $161,649 for building envelope improvements in municipal buildings

Wenham: $138,974 to buy down the cost of an energy services company contract

Worcester: $852,083 for a residential stretch code implementation program providing financial incentives for residents undertaking home building or renovation projects to build to the newly-adopted stretch energy building code and for a community energy education and outreach campaign

In addition to grants, each Green Community is receiving Big Belly solar waste compactors in time for the summer parks and beaches season. Purchased with DOER energy efficiency funding, Big Belly compactors can hold several times more trash and litter than similarly sized regular trash receptacles – thereby reducing the number of garbage truck trips required to empty them. Each municipality will also receive a certificate from the Commonwealth recognizing it as an official Green Community.

DOER will take additional applications for Green Community designations and grants later this year. Click here for more information on DOER’s Green Communities program.

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