The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) recently awarded $14,798,596 in Green Communities competitive grants to 80 municipalities across the state to fund clean energy projects.
“Green Communities are champions for clean energy practices across Massachusetts and should be commended for their efforts to reduce energy use and costs,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “These grants will allow the Green Communities to build upon the impressive efforts undertaken to earn this distinguished designation.”
Under the Green Communities Act, cities and towns must meet five specific criteria to be designated a Green Community and receive funding. The grants provide financial support for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the designated communities’ clean energy goals. This seventh annual round of DOER Green Communities competitive grants is awarded to existing Green Communities that have successfully invested their initial designation grants and previous competitive grant awards. Grants are capped at $250,000 per municipality.
According to the DEOR, the grants fund a range projects from ventilation system upgrades and high efficiency lighting to installation of insulation and energy management systems at municipal buildings and facilities. Also included are projects to install LED streetlights, oil-to-gas heating system conversions, electric vehicles and electric vehicles charging stations.
“The Green Communities program is an important partnership with cities and towns to help them find clean energy solutions that reduce long-term energy costs and strengthen local economies,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “These grants represent another milestone for both the communities and the Commonwealth as we continue to collaborate to meet our shared energy goals.”
Funding for these grants is available through proceeds from Alternative Compliance Payments (ACP) paid by retail electric suppliers that do not meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard compliance obligations through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates.
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has awarded nearly $100 million to Green Communities since 2010. To date, 210 Massachusetts cities and towns have earned the Green Communities designation.