Franklin, Medway to Receive Nearly $250K in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants, Natick to Receive Technical Assistance
Senator Spilka announced today that Franklin will receive $99,500 for the installation of a solar photovoltaic system at the Gerald M. Parmenter Elementary School, while Medway will receive $150K to install a 199 kW solar photovoltaic system at the Medway Middle School as part of a power purchase agreement. Natick will also receive technical assistance for solar panel installation.
The Franklin project will give the Parmenter school a capacity of 15 kW and will produce approximately 200,813 kwH of clean power annually. The Medway project will reduce the middle school’s CO2 emissions by 213,422 lbs.
“The use of federal stimulus funds for energy efficiency to the towns of Franklin and Medway, along with technical assistance for Natick, will provide a tremendous boost to the towns and help them save money over the long run,” stated Senator Karen Spilka (D-Ashland), the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. “As a Senate member of the Joint Committee on Federal Stimulus Oversignt, I have often said that our stimulus dollars must be used strategically to both create jobs and increase savings for municipalities. This project will do that while moving us closer to the energy efficient future that is so important for Massachusetts.”
“We are delighted to be a beneficiary for the Federal Stimulus money,” stated Suzanne Kennedy, Medway Town Administrator. “This will be a boon for our town. It will also provide the opportunity for our school department to reduce its energy expense in installing photo voltaic paneling. It is a win-win situation for tax payers and for the students.”
97 cities and towns will receive nearly $12.2 million in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), while 35 communities – including some of the 97 receiving grants – will share $825,000 in technical consulting services to provide local officials with expertise necessary to undertake a variety of energy projects.
In March, the DOE allocated a total of $42.2 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to Massachusetts under the EECBG program. The DOE allocated direct grants to 42 communities with populations over 35,000, and directed the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to administer the grant program to benefit smaller communities. Massachusetts is among the first states to award EECBG stimulus funds for cities and towns with populations under 35,000.
DOER’s Green Communities Division selected the 97 grant recipients from a pool of 133 applicants, ranking proposals based on projected greenhouse gas reductions, projected job creation potential, ability to leverage private capital and expertise from other partners, and overall readiness. Capped at $150,000 each, grants awarded today will help municipalities pay for shovel-ready projects at municipal buildings and schools, including solar photovoltaic and solar thermal installations; thermal efficiency measures in oil- or propane-heated buildings, such as new high efficiency boilers and furnaces or improved efficiency in existing ones, replacement or improvement of heat delivery systems, and increased insulation or window replacement; and reduction (“buy-down”) of the total cost of efficiency measures identified by energy performance contractors.
DOER set aside an additional $825,000 in EECBG funds to provide technical consulting services valued up to $50,000 per community. The 35 communities who qualified for this assistance – all but 14 of which were also awarded grants – will receive assistance from independent third parties with expertise in the negotiation and management of energy projects, enabling municipalities to undertake work they might otherwise forego due to lack of in-house expertise.
In addition to the awards announced today, which are estimated to save or create at least 200 jobs, DOER previously announced it is using a portion of EECBG funding to make clean energy technical assistance services available to all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns, regardless of population size. Included in these services is a newly launched MassEnergyInsight energy information reporting system that provides comprehensive community-by-community energy usage and cost information, allowing municipalities to benchmark energy consumption and identify priority targets for efficiency investments, and to inventory, track and report municipal emissions reductions.