Massachusetts Awards Facilities $4 Million in Energy Grants

energy grants Massachusetts facilities
(Photo Credit: City of Chicopee)

Massachusetts drinking water and wastewater facilities received a total of $4 million in energy grants. The grants from Governor Charlie Baker’s administration are going to 36 facilities around the state to lower energy use, increase energy efficiency, and generate renewable energy.

Awarded through the state’s Gap Funding Grant Program, the grants are intended to speed up energy efficiency and clean energy generation projects at municipal treatment facilities that were previously assessed, the governor’s office says. The program aims to fill the last “gap” in project financing so facilities can use utility incentives and funds from other sources to carry out the projects.

“Energy use at wastewater and drinking water treatment facilities is a major contributor to overall energy consumption for many cities and towns, with communities statewide spending approximately $150 million per year on electricity to treat 662 billion gallons of wastewater and drinking water,” according to the governor’s office. “About 30% of municipal energy use derives from water treatment.”

The 36 projects are projected to generate approximately 9.6 megawatt hours in annual electricity savings or onsite energy generation, resulting in savings of as much as $1.3 million annually, according to the governor. All the facility projects are expected to be completed and operational by the end of next year.

Eight facilities received $200,000 grants. The projects included upgrading an oxygen aeration system at Chicopee’s wastewater treatment plant that has major components dating back to 1974. Better oxygen transfer should increase sludge treatment and reduce disposal costs. Projected savings are $144,430 and 558,450 kilowatt-hours annually.

In Worcester, replacing the drinking water facility’s 20-year old ozone generation system with the most current liquid oxygen system should improve treatment while using less electricity. That project is projected to cut annual electricity usage in half, saving $161,634 and 1,776,194 kilowatt-hours per year.

Massachusetts awarded $20 million in grants last December for energy storage projects in the state. Those projects are aimed at readying the state for greater commercialization and deployment of energy storage technologies.

In March, the governor filed legislation to authorize over $1.4 billion in capital allocations for investments to protect residents, municipalities, and businesses from climate change effects.

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