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Ashland to Receive Over $486K for Energy Efficiency Project

August 3, 2009

August 3, 2009

Senator Karen Spilka and Representative Tom Sannicandro announced today that Ashland will receive $486,353 from a State Revolving Fund (SRF) grant for the Ashland Howe Street Water Treatment Project.

The Town of Ashland operates five groundwater wells at the Howe Street plant on the banks of the Hopkinton Reservoir that annually treats and distributes over 737 million gallons of drinking water for nearly 16,000 customers in the towns of Ashland and Hopkinton. It is the sole public water source for the Town of Ashland.

To increase energy efficiency and reduce costs, several renewable energy upgrades will be made to the treatment plant. The upgrades consist of installing 45kW solar panels and Variable Speed Drives, which would save energy by varying the intensity of the pumps. The estimated annual cost savings for the operation of the treatment plant is $75,428, or 62 percent of the current cost to operate the plant. Additionally, the total estimated annual carbon dioxide reduction is 229 tons.

Ashland agreed to participate in a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) energy efficiency pilot program, which qualified the town for the funds.

“The Town of Ashland is pleased that Senator Spilka and Representative Sannicandro were able to work with State agencies to make this grant available to the Town of Ashland,” stated Ashland Town Manager John Petrin.  “Under the guidance of Mark Purple, Assistant Town Manager, Doug Small, DPW Director, and Roy Correia, Water/Sewer Department General Foreman, the Town was able to meet the stringent qualifications of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to qualify for this grant.  This investment will have an annual savings of at least $75,000 yearly as well as reduce our future capital replacement costs.  The Town is pleased to be a recipient of these stimulus funds.”

“Ashland’s willingness to be forward-thinking about its energy use has paid off now, in terms of the awarding of this grant, and will continue to pay off in the future, in the form of cost savings and reduced environmental impact,” stated Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland).  “I am extremely pleased to have worked with the town and state officials to bring this funding to fruition.”

“This is an exciting new chapter for the Town of Ashland,” Representative Tom Sannicandro (D-Ashland) said. “I am proud that this investment in our communities will promote a greener and cleaner agenda in the Commonwealth.”

Massachusetts awards grants for energy efficient projects under the SRF, which is administered by the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust, a joint effort of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), the Executive Office of Administration and Finance and the State Treasurer’s Office.

The SRF is comprised of two programs: the Clean Water Fund, which has awarded nearly $3.9 billion since 1991; and the Drinking Water Fund, which has awarded more than $975 million in projects since 1999.  The Clean Water SRF funds planning and construction projects, such as waste water treatment plants and upgrades to existing sewer systems. The Drinking Water SRF funds the engineering, design and construction of drinking water projects that protect public health and strengthen compliance with state and federal drinking water requirements.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) requires a portion of SRF funds to be utilized for grants, and 20 percent of the funds must also be used for ‘green infrastructure’ improvements at treatment facilities. The SRF grants are expected to reduce the cost of the infrastructure projects by 8 to 14 percent.

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