Yesterday, on June 28th, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan and Department of Energy Resources DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia awarded the City of Lowell $123,574 in grants to fund clean energy projects throughout the city. In total, $2.8 million in grants were awarded to fund 55 clean energy projects in 19 communities across the Commonwealth, including the City of Lowell.
The grants are funded through proceeds from Alternative Compliance Payments (ACP) received from retail electricity suppliers under the Commonwealth’s Renewable and Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard programs. The goal of the Green Communities Competitive Grant program is to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the clean energy goals of previously-designated Green Communities.
DOER’s Green Communities Division awarded $123,574 for the following projects in the City of Lowell:
- $24,315 - McAuliffe Elementary School variable frequency drives/pumps
- $26,349 - Butler Middle School variable frequency drives/pumps
- $22,280 - Lincoln Elementary School variable frequency drives/pumps
- $43,336 - Department of Public Works garage quick close curtains
- $7,294 - Project administrative costs
The Green Communities Act, which created DOER’s Green Communities Designation and Grant program, was cited by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) as a primary reason for ACEEE’s 2011 ranking of Massachusetts as first in the nation for its energy efficiency policies and programs, moving California out of the top spot for the first time since the ranking was first published four years ago.
The DOER grants are so important to the Commonwealth because Massachusetts sits at the end of the energy pipeline, lacking indigenous fossil fuel sources and spending $22 billion each year to run power plants, fuel vehicles and businesses, and heat buildings. Of that sum, Massachusetts spends 80 percent on foreign energy sources from Canada, South America and the Middle East. That’s nearly $18 billion in lost economic opportunity that Massachusetts stands poised to reclaim through investments in home-grown renewable energy and energy efficiency such as the City of Lowell and the other cities and towns supported by Green Communities grants.