Mass Rural Water Association
781 Millers Falls Road, Northfield, MA 01360
Funds awarded to help these facilities reduce energy use, increase energy efficiency and generate renewable energy.
WARE — The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $4 million in grants to 36 drinking water and wastewater facilities across the Commonwealth to help these facilities reduce energy use, increase energy efficiency and generate renewable energy. Awarded through the Gap Funding Grant Program, these grants will expedite implementation of previously assessed energy efficiency and clean energy generation projects at municipal treatment facilities. The program is designed to fill the last “gap” in project financing, enabling facilities to use utility incentives and funds from other sources to build or install selected energy efficiency and clean energy projects. The announcement was made by state environmental officials during an event in Ware as part of the Commonwealth’s celebration of Earth Week.
“As we celebrate Earth Week, our administration is proud to award funding that will help communities across the Commonwealth provide safe, clean drinking water to their residents, protect our natural resources, and reduce the significant energy usage of local wastewater and drinking water treatment,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The innovative Gap Funding Grant Program provides the last funding communities need to complete vital energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that will increase reliability, lower operating costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions.”
“The Gap Funding Grant Program allows municipalities to use other sources of funding, including from electrical utilities, saving money for communities and local ratepayers,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Our administration is committed to working with cities and towns across the Commonwealth to improve water quality programs that protect our waters and public health.”
Today’s awards are expected to leverage $1.3 million in additional energy utility incentives, leading to the installation of $17 million in clean energy improvement projects. These 36 projects, taken together, are projected to generate approximately 9.6 megawatt hours in annual electricity savings or onsite energy generation, sufficient to power 234 households, reduce carbon emissions by 3,015 tons, and result in savings of up to $1.3 million annually. All projects are expected to be completed and operational by the end of 2019.
“Massachusetts is a national leader when it comes to energy efficiency and development of renewable energy, and the Gap Funding Grant Program will help the Commonwealth maintain its status,” said EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton. “These innovative grants provide a positive return on investment, not only for the facility involved, but also for the state and the energy utilities that have provided incentives.”
“The Gap Funding Grant Program allows facilities to make improvements to their treatment systems through the use of energy efficiency measures, enabling these facilities to provide cleaner water – and cleaner air – while reducing energy use,” said Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “Over time, these efficiency upgrades improve the facility’s operational reliability and cut the use of fossil fuels in plant operations, significantly reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.”
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. About 30 percent of municipal energy use derives from water treatment.
“The Department of Energy Resources is proud to partner with municipalities on initiatives that reduce energy use, increase energy efficiency and generate renewable energy,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “This important work at water treatment facilities is critical to creating a clean energy future for the Commonwealth.”
“Massachusetts is home to a vibrant water innovation sector, and this funding will enable municipalities to tap into that resource by adopting technologies that improve energy efficiency,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “Gap funding will help these cities and towns overcome persistent funding challenges and provide cost savings to their residents.”
781 Millers Falls Road, Northfield, MA 01360