Showing posts with label clean energy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label clean energy. Show all posts

Friday, July 1, 2022

CommonWealth Magazine: "State sets carbon targets for 2025, 2030"

 
"Hours after the Supreme Court dealt a devastating blow to the national climate effort, Massachusetts released an aggressive new blueprint that speeds up efforts to slash emissions by electrifying buildings and vehicles and transitioning the electricity supply rapidly from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. 
The new plan offers a detailed path for what the state must achieve by 2025 and 2030, presenting a vision for accelerating climate action in Massachusetts. 
“The Clean Energy and Climate Plan is a comprehensive and balanced plan that will serve as a guide for Massachusetts as we work to achieve ambitious emissions goals and reach Net Zero in 2050 in an equitable and affordable manner,” Governor Charlie Baker said in a statement."
Continue reading the Boston Globe article






CommonWealth Magazine also provides coverage on the updated net zero plan


Ted McIntyre and I have a series on "Making Sense of Climate." As it is based upon how the state is doing on meeting goals of the roadmap, this new update will be part of future discussions. You can listen to the prior episodes here

CommonWealth Magazine: "State sets carbon targets for 2025, 2030"
CommonWealth Magazine: "State sets carbon targets for 2025, 2030"

The Hill: "No miracle tech needed: How to switch to renewables now and lower costs doing it"

"The world is experiencing unprecedented fuel price increases, energy blackmail between countries, up to 7 million air pollution deaths per year worldwide and one climate-related disaster after another. Critics contend that a switch to renewable energy to solve these problems will create unstable electricity grids and drive prices up further. However, a new study from my research group at Stanford University concludes that these problems can be solved in each of the 145 countries we examined — without blackouts and at low cost using almost all existing technologies."
Continue reading the article on the report released

From the Opening of the report:

"Global warming, air pollution, and energy insecurity are three of the greatest problems facing humanity. Roadmaps are developed and grid analyses are performed here for 145 countries to address these problems. The roadmaps call for a 100% transition of all-purpose business-as-usual (BAU) energy to wind-water-solar (WWS) energy, efficiency, and storage, ideally by 2035, but by no later than 2050, with at least 80% by 2030. Grid stability analyses find that the countries, grouped into 24 regions, can exactly match demand with 100% WWS supply and storage, from 2050–2052. Worldwide, WWS reduces enduse energy by 56.4%, private annual energy costs by 62.7% (from $17.8 to $6.6 trillion per year), and social (private plus health plus climate) annual energy costs by 92.0% (from $83.2 to $6.6 trillion per year) at a present-value cost of B$61.5 trillion. The mean payback times of the capital cost due to energy- and social-cost savings are 5.5 and 0.8 years, respectively. "
Download and read the full report ->

No miracle tech needed: How to switch to renewables now and lower costs doing it
No miracle tech needed: How to switch to renewables now and lower costs doing it

Friday, April 15, 2022

Senate Passes Major Climate Bill

Senate Passes Major Climate Bill

Package also includes bills focused on home heating oil and public land protection 

Amid alarming reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Massachusetts Senate on Thursday passed a major bill, S.2819, An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward, or the Drive Act. The bill addresses climate change in three primary areas—clean energy, transportation, and buildings—with the aim of achieving the Commonwealth's ambitious goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, which the Legislature codified into law in 2021.

"Combatting climate change requires an honest assessment of the challenges before us, and constant work to change the course we are on," stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). "I'm proud to say that the Senate has never shied away from either, and that we continue to lead on taking action to combat climate change. The Drive Act takes important steps to expand clean energy, encourage the adoption of electric vehicles, reduce emissions from the building sector, and foster a workforce for our future, while two additional bills will help homeowners dealing with oil spills and protect open spaces. I'd like to thank Senators Barrett, Creem, Gobi and Eldridge, Senate Ways and Means Chair Rodrigues, and all of Senators who offered amendments to make this climate package stronger."

"Today's passage of an Act Driving Climate Policy Forward is a reflection of the Senate's strong commitment to an all-hands-on deck approach to boldly confronting our climate challenges head on," said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. "Thank you to the Senate President and her team for their leadership and guidance, and thank you to Senator Barrett, Senator Creem, their staffs, the Senate Ways and Means team, and all the members of the Senate for lending their voices and contributions throughout this process. With the passage of this comprehensive climate package, we are another step closer to ensuring the Commonwealth meets its ambitious goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050."

"We know climate change is relentless, so we think Massachusetts needs to be relentless, too," stated Senator Mike Barrett (D-Lexington), Senate Chair of the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee. "No one's around to give out 'A's' for effort. What matters are results. An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward pushes back against global warming on multiple fronts, and with an emphasis on innovation and smart experimentation. It's about thinking long-range but executing now, in the short term.  It's about problem-solving, confidence, and even optimism."

"The Drive Act will help Massachusetts reach net-zero emissions by 2050 by paving the road to clean transportation, clean buildings, and clean electric and thermal energy," said Majority Leader Cynthia Creem (D-Newton), Chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. "It is an impressive achievement, one that should give every resident of the Commonwealth hope about our ability to mitigate climate change. I'm grateful to every member of the Senate who contributed to this landmark legislation, and especially to Senate President Spilka, Chair Rodrigues, and Senator Barrett for their steadfast commitment to addressing climate change."

Clean Energy

Around 20 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts come from the power plants that fuel its energy grid, making support for clean energy alternatives necessary to meet the Commonwealth's goal of having net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Recognizing this, the Drive Act includes significant provisions to deploy clean energy infrastructure, including those related to offshore wind energy, solar energy, and energy storage. Acknowledging the importance of growing the Commonwealth's green economy, this bill allocates $100 million to a Clean Energy Investment Fund to support infrastructure development in the clean energy industry.

To assist with the financial viability of offshore wind energy projects, this legislation updates the procurement process for new offshore wind energy investments to ensure that the Commonwealth receives as many competitive bids as possible, that all projects maximize equitable economic development opportunities, that environmental impacts are mitigated, and that ratepayers are protected throughout the process. The bill also provides more flexibility to offshore wind developers by adjusting the existing price cap for offshore wind projects, allowing for price increases of up to 10 per cent of the previous procurement. It also require that any increase in price must be the result of economic development investments for low- and middle-income populations and diversity, equity and inclusion programs. This crucial change will give offshore wind developers more flexibility, protect ratepayers from significant price increases, and ensure that offshore wind investments support equitable economic development in the Commonwealth.

To support the advancement of solar power, the bill permits agricultural and horticultural land to be used to site solar panels, eliminates the so-called 'donut hole' for on-site solar energy net metering to promote residential solar; and requires the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to make recommendations for the successor program to the current SMART solar incentive program.

In addition to wind and solar power, the bill addresses other innovative sources of clean energy such as fusion and geothermal power, and amends Massachusetts law to ensure that the state can consider potential options for the development of safe, clean energy sources. Acknowledging the harmful health and environmental impacts of biomass facilities, this legislation removes biomass from the list of energy-generating sources that are allowed to receive state incentives for clean energy. To ensure that the Commonwealth has adequate storage systems to accommodate all the clean energy that Massachusetts will be adding to its energy portfolio, this bill directs a study of how to optimize the deployment of long-term energy storage systems.

Transportation

As the transportation sector is the largest source of fuel emissions in Massachusetts, the bill takes steps to encourage the use of electric vehicles, including codifying into statute, expanding, and allocating $100 million for the state's MOR-EV electric vehicle incentive program, which provides rebates to individuals who purchase electric vehicles.

Under the Drive Act, the rebate amount will increase by $1,000, to $3,500, for passenger cars and light-duty trucks. Moreover, electric vehicle purchasers who trade in their emission-producing vehicles will be eligible for an additional incentive of $1,000. For the first time, rebates provided through the MOR-EV program will be administered at the point of sale, rather than through a rebate that can take up to 90 days to receive. The bill also makes used vehicles eligible for rebates.  Further, the bill directs the department of energy resources to conduct an outreach campaign to promote awareness about the MOR-EV program among consumers and businesses in underserved and low-income communities, as well as in communities with high proportions of high-emission vehicles.

To expand access to electric vehicle charging stations, this bill convenes an interagency coordinating council to develop and implement a charging infrastructure deployment plan, and allocates $50 million to this coordinating council to deploy charging infrastructure in an equitable and comprehensive manner.

The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) would be required to set vehicle electrification and greenhouse gas emission requirements for electric vehicle companies. In addition, to ensure that zero-emission vehicle charging remains affordable for consumers, the bill requires all electricity companies to submit proposals to the department of public utilities for how they will offer reduced electricity rates for consumers who charge their zero-emission vehicles at off-peak times.

Finally, the bill takes historic steps to address emissions that come from MBTA bus fleets. Starting in 2028, this bill would require every passenger bus that is purchased or leased by the MBTA to be a zero-emission vehicle. By the end of 2040, the MBTA would be required to operate exclusively zero-emission vehicles. Underserved and low-income communities would be prioritized for the equitable deployment of these zero-emission buses.

Amendments adopted during the debate include those to:

  • Allow the MOR-EV program to offer an additional $1,500 rebate for low-income individuals;
  • Require the state to examine historic and present participation of low- and moderate-income households in the MOR-EV program and recommend strategies to reduce disparities in uptake;
  • Require the MBTA to develop and implement short-, medium-, and long-term plans for electrifying the commuter rail fleet, with new purchase of diesel locomotives to be phased out in the coming years;
  • Require MassDOT to assist Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) in creating an Electric Bus Rollout Plan for transitioning to zero-emission bus fleets; and
  • Direct the state to prepare a report on the estimated cost of converting school buses to zero-emission vehicles, as well as recommendations on how to structure a state incentive program for replacing school buses.

Buildings

To tackle the difficult issue of emissions from the building sector, the bill creates a 10 municipality demonstration project allowing all-electric building construction by local option. Participating municipalities must receive local approval before applying into the demonstration project.

The Drive Act makes targeted enhancements to the Mass Save program, which provides rebates and incentives for owners and renters related to efficient appliances and other home energy improvements. Under the bill, priority for Mass Save projects will be given to those that maximize net climate, environmental, and equity impacts. Beginning in 2025, Mass Save funds will also be limited in most instances from going to any fossil fuel equipment.

This bill requires the DPU to conduct an adjudicatory proceeding prior to approving any company-specific plan under the DPU's future of heat proceedings. In addition, the bill requires DPU to convene a stakeholder working group to develop regulatory and legislative recommendations for how Massachusetts can best align the Commonwealth's gas system enhancement program with the state's 2050 net zero goal. The working group must submit its final recommendations to the Legislature by July 31, 2023.

Amendments adopted during the debate include those to:

  • Require utility companies to report to the state annually the total amount of natural gas and electricity used by large buildings over 25,000 square feet, and for the state to make the data publicly available on a building-by-building basis;
  • Require the state to consider the historic and present participation of low- and middle-income households, including renter households, in the Mass Save program, and provide recommendations to promote equitable access and reduce disparities in uptake; and
  • Direct electric and gas distribution companies to collect and report on data related to ratepayer bills in communities that are involved in the demonstration project, as well as those who are not.

S.2821: An Act relative to the remediation of home heating oil releases

The Senate also passed S.2821, An Act relative to the remediation of home heating oil releases. Over 650,000 homeowners across Massachusetts use home heating oil to heat their homes. Every year, over 100 of those homeowners report to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that there has been an oil spill associated with their home heating oil tank. These spills can cost anywhere from tens of thousands to millions of dollars to clean up, causing a potential financial crisis for a family.

"I would like to thank the Senate President, Chairman Rodrigues, and Senator Feeney for their steadfast support in moving this bill through the Senate," said Senator Anne M. Gobi (D-Worcester), the sponsor of the bill. "This legislation is a necessity for homeowners' protection and peace of mind. The cost of remediation is expensive and can force residents to seek risky financial maneuvers. It is only fair that the state takes action to protect its citizens from this danger. I am grateful to my colleagues in the Senate, for their unanimous support today. I urge the House of Representatives to move quickly on this legislation; it is in the best interest of the residents of Massachusetts."

The Legislature previously took action on this issue in 2008, adopting a bill that would require release prevention devices to be installed for residential heating oil systems, as well as and mandate all homeowner insurers in Massachusetts to offer coverage for home heating oil cleanups. While this bill made insurance coverage available, it was not successful in leading to high uptake rates. Currently, only seven per cent of homeowners who use home heating oil have insurance coverage for a potential spill. Many homeowners with home heating oil falsely assume that their current policy covers a potential clean up, or are unaware that such insurance coverage exists. This means that every year, hundreds of families are hit with unexpected and expensive cleanup bills that they are unable to cover themselves.

The bill adopted by the Senate today addresses this problem by requiring that all homeowner insurance policies cover a potential home heating oil spill. This is a common-sense measure, considering that homeowner insurance policies already cover other potential risks, including natural gas line explosions. This legislation will help prevent families from having to deal with the tragic situation of paying for the cleanup of home heating oil spills by themselves.

S.2820: An Act preserving open space in the Commonwealth

In addition, the Senate passed S.2820, An Act preserving open space in the Commonwealth. This bill would prevent the loss of natural resource lands that are covered under Article 97 of the Massachusetts constitution. The bill requires that any municipality or state agency that is disposing or changing the use of any Article 97 protected open space must replace that land with comparable land, which would protect open spaces across Massachusetts.

"I am very proud to join my Senate colleagues in passing the Public Land Protection Act to safeguard public lands for future generations," said Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), the sponsor of the bill. "I'm grateful to Senate President Karen E. Spilka, Senate Ways and Means Chair Rodrigues, and Senate Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee Chair Becca Rausch for their work on this important environmental bill that will protect open space across Massachusetts."

Since the Drive Act builds off a previous climate bill that was passed through the House, the differences will need to be worked out by both branches before the bill advances to the Governor's desk. The open space bill also amends a similar bill that was passed through the House, and so differences will need to be reconciled on that bill as well. Having only passed in the Senate, the home heating oil spill bill will now go to the House for further consideration.

 

Senate Passes Major Climate Bill
Senate Passes Major Climate Bill

Thursday, March 31, 2022

WBUR: What's the future of gas in Mass.? Utilities and critics have different visions (audio)

"New reports from the state's five investor-owned gas utilities offer roadmaps to the companies' future — and, in many ways, our own.

The plans call for a radical transformation of the Massachusetts energy and heating sector, betting heavily on the successful development of new, clean energy technologies.

Environmental groups were not permitted to participate in the drafting of the future of gas reports and warn that if the utility roadmaps fail, or alternative plans aren't successful, the state will not meet its ambitious, existential climate emission goals."

 

The Dorchester Gas tank in 2021. (Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)
The Dorchester Gas tank in 2021. (Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)

Listen here -> https://www.wbur.org/news/2022/03/18/massachusetts-natural-gas-net-zero-plan

or here

Saturday, March 19, 2022

International Energy Agency releases "10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use"

"We’ve just released the @iea  10-Point Plan on actions advanced economies can adopt to cut oil demand by 2.7 million barrels a day. This would be a big saving - it's the same amount of oil currently consumed by all of the cars in China."

IEA =>  International Energy Agency  "Shaping a secure & sustainable energy future. We provide data, analysis & ambitious real-world solutions on all fuels & technologies. "

The full press release behind this infographic -> https://www.iea.org/news/emergency-measures-can-quickly-cut-global-oil-demand-by-2-7-million-barrels-a-day-reducing-the-risk-of-a-damaging-supply-crunch

The full report with additional explanation and charts -> https://www.iea.org/reports/a-10-point-plan-to-cut-oil-use

10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use
10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use

Thursday, March 3, 2022

"The benefits of this investment will not be confined to just offshore wind"

From the Boston Globe - an editorial written by: Ronald J. Mariano, who represents the Third Norfolk District, is speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Jeffrey N. Roy represents the 10th Norfolk District and is House chair of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy. 

"In November, voters in Maine approved a ballot measure that blocks plans to develop a transmission line to deliver hydroelectric power from Canada to Massachusetts and the rest of the region. 
Two months after that vote, Massachusetts was hit by a powerful “bomb cyclone” that brought 70-mile-per-hour gusts, more than 30 inches of snow, mass power outages, and school and business closures. It ranked among the top 10 storms with the highest snowfalls to hit the Boston area since the National Weather Service began keeping such records in the late 1800s — seven of which have occurred just within the last two decades. 
These two events, occurring in short succession, demonstrate both the perils of climate change and just how fragile that state’s existing plans are to combat it."
Continue reading the editorial online (subscription may be required)

Deepwater Wind's turbines off Block Island, R.I., as seen in 2019.RODRIQUE NGOWI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Deepwater Wind's turbines off Block Island, R.I., as seen in 2019.RODRIQUE NGOWI/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Recap on Energy/Climate front: one step forward, two steps back

Something to watch for as a key component of the MA net zero goals: 
"Administration officials did not respond to requests for comment, but the Department of Energy Resources notified stakeholders it was releasing on Tuesday a “straw proposal” containing updates to the existing stretch code and a framework for an “opt-in specialized stretch code.” 
Sources said the revisions to the state building code would deal primarily with windows, insulation, and other measures to reduce energy usage. The opt-in specialized stretch code would allow communities to voluntarily take additional measures that would accelerate energy conservation, including requiring all new construction to include rooftop solar where practicable. 
The stretch code would also require new construction to be equipped for full electrification and to meet at least some passive house standards, the goal of which is to dramatically limit energy usage."
Continue reading the article online ->

Baker seeking major changes in building code
Baker seeking major changes in building code


While the building codes may move forward, a move by the ISO-New England group apparently moves the State efforts backward.

"At a time when New England should be racing to bring as much clean energy online as possible to green its electricity supply, the grid moved this past week to effectively discourage major wind and solar projects for at least another two years.

Like other regional power suppliers, New England’s grid operator has been asked by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to remove or change a mechanism that makes it harder for clean energy projects to enter the competitive market. But after months of saying it supported such a measure, ISO-New England reversed its stance last week and aligned with a proposal from the natural gas industry that would slow-walk any such change.

“It’s another example of not meeting the moment to usher in the clean energy transition,” said Jeremy McDiarmid, of the Northeast Clean Energy Council. “It is an example of the system not being equipped to change as fast as we need it to.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Boston Globe: "A better future for heating your home"

"As we prepare for colder weather, the choice has already been made for many residents that they will be burning euphemistically named “natural gas,” or methane. This fuel, which is no more natural than any other fossil fuel, is not only responsible for massive property damage and loss of life following explosions, as we saw in the Merrimack Valley disaster three years ago — it is also a potent fossil fuel, responsible for 27 percent of climate-altering emissions statewide, second only to transportation and significantly greater than even the energy generation sector.

If the state does not move away from our reliance on gas, we probably won’t hit our statutory emissions reduction goals set by the Global Warming Solutions Act and the recent 2050 net-zero roadmap legislation. Working in opposition to those goals, gas utilities are planning decades of new pipelines, projected to cost Massachusetts gas customers $20 billion — a Big Dig-sized project — according to a recent report commissioned by Gas Leaks Allies."
Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required)
Olivia Cerf and Ben Butterworth stand near the heat pumps they installed at their Melrose home. ERIN CLARK/GLOBE STAFF
Olivia Cerf and Ben Butterworth stand near the heat pumps they installed at their Melrose home.ERIN CLARK/GLOBE STAFF

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Cobi Frongillo authors report "Offshore Wind Workforce Training & Development in Massachusetts"

Via Cobi Frongillo:
Want a peek into my professional life? Super proud to attend this important event with the Governor, calling for further offshore wind workforce investments and announcing the release of a report I authored!
"Today at the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal @MassGovernor + @MassLtGov announced a new report that assesses the workforce strengths, gaps, + opportunities in MA for the emerging #offshorewind industry. #MAClimateWeek









Thursday, May 6, 2021

State Rep Roy on climate roadmap and battery storage (audio & video)

State Representative Jeff Roy has been busy in his new role as House Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy (TUE).

We can share a podcast episode of The Climate Minute  (https://massclimateaction.podbean.com/) where Rep Roy discusses the roadmap of the recent climate legislation with Ted McIntyre (approx. 25 minutes)

Rep Roy also hosted a meeting on the battery storage facility proposal for Medway which is now available via YouTube  (almost 2 hours)

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Boston Globe: "a glimmer of hope for opponents to the Weymouth gas compressor"

David Abel (@davabel) tweeted on Tue, Jan 19, 2021:
"After years of protests, a glimmer of hope for opponents to the Weymouth gas compressor https://t.co/DWe9KVmz44 via @BostonGlobe"

The Weymouth Compressor Station JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF
The Weymouth Compressor StationJOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF


Monday, August 3, 2020

FM #320 Town Council - PACE Program - 7/29/20 (audio)

FM #320 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 320 in the series.

This session shares a key segment of the Franklin, MA Town Council meeting held on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. The meeting was conducted via conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

Chair Tom Mercer opened the meeting on schedule. The agenda eventually gets to the second item for presentation, the PACE Program. Wendy Lee O’Malley, Vice-President of MassDevelopment provides the overview of this newly released program. This is an opportunity for business and nonprofit property owners to get advantageous financing for energy improvements.

The show notes contain links to the meeting agenda and to the individual documents referenced.

This meeting segment runs just about 21 minutes, so let’s listen to the presentation and discussion on the PACE Program.

Audio file:   https://www.hipcast.com/podcast/HXv4XmdK





--------------

Town Council agenda
https://www.franklinmatters.org/2020/07/franklin-ma-town-council-agenda-july-29.html

PACE Program doc and presentation
https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/mai/files/8b._pace_program_presentation_-_massdevelopment.pdf

My notes from the meeting
https://www.franklinmatters.org/2020/07/town-council-recap-reluctantly-approves.html

--------------
We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial.

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.

How can you help?
  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit Franklinmatters.org/
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!
------------------

You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"


FM #320 Town Council - PACE Program - 7/29/20 (audio)
FM #320 Town Council - PACE Program - 7/29/20 (audio)

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Proposal on Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts for Franklin

TO:                Jamie Hellen, Town Administrator
FROM:         Bryan W. Taberner, AICP, Director
RE:               Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts
CC:               Mark G. Cerel, Town Attorney; Christopher Sandini, Finance Director; Kerri Bertone, Collector/Treasurer; Kevin W. Doyle, Director Of Assessing; Amy Love, Town Planner; Chrissy Whelton, Assistant To The Town Administrator
DATE:           JULY 14, 2020

As you know on April 10, 2020 representatives from the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency (MassDevelopment) met with Town of Franklin staff to introduce the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts program, and discuss potential benefits to property owners, and requirements of the Town.

PACE is a tax based financing mechanism that enables low-cost, long-term funding for energy improvements, such as energy-efficiency projects and renewable systems, on existing Commercial and Industrial properties in Massachusetts. To finance the improvements, a property owner agrees to a betterment assessment on their property, enabling property owners to undertake more comprehensive energy upgrades with longer payback periods (up to 20 years). At property sale the lien stays with the property and is transferred to subsequent property owners.

MassDevelopment’s PACE Program Manager Wendy Lee O’Malley will be attending the July 22nd Town Council Meeting remotely to outline the PACE program and its benefits, and answer questions. MassDevelopment acts as the Lead Program Administrator for PACE Massachusetts. In order for the community to participate in PACE Massachusetts it must opt-in through passage of a Town Council Resolution.

Attached for review and consideration is Resolution 20-42, a two page PACE Massachusetts flyer, a short presentation, and a couple examples of PACE projects in other communities.

PACE is an economic development tool for Massachusetts communities that help to create a more competitive environment for attracting and retaining businesses through lower energy costs. DPCD highly recommends the Town participate in this new economic development incentive program. I look forward to discussing PACE at the July 22nd Town Council meeting.

The memo and associated documents can be found at the Town of Franklin page
https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif591/f/mai/files/8b._pace_program_presentation_-_massdevelopment.pdf

The full agenda and documents released for the Town Council meeting July 22, 2020   https://www.franklinma.gov/town-council/agenda/july-22-town-council-meeting





Proposal on Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts for Franklin
Proposal on Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Massachusetts for Franklin

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving....from Enbridge and FERC

Dear Greater Franklin node friends,
We've received some unfortunate news from our hard-fighting ally, the Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station (FRRACS) in Weymouth.  They have been stalwartly fighting this battle against an Enbridge compressor station for five years as of next month.  They are not giving up and neither can we.  

The compressor station would emit greenhouse gases equivalent to half the vehicles driven in Massachusetts and make it nearly impossible to reach carbon emission reduction goals in the state.  And that's saying nothing about spewed toxic chemicals that would poison residents, leading to even higher rates of cancer, respiratory and heart disease in the community--already among the highest in the state.

While there some actions only they can take (e.g., lawsuits), we can support them as an ally by filling out the pledge form below to help in various ways, including spreading the word to and engaging neighbors and friends, making calls and other actions, and donating to their legal fund (this working community has already spent $1.75 million in legal costs).  Please see the linked form and sign up to do what you can!

Please hold your family and friends close this holiday season as we all need to help each other.

In solidarity,

Carolyn Barthel
Greater Franklin Node Coordinator
508-473-3305 H



View this email in your browser
Dear Friend of FRRACS,

It's the beginning of the Holiday Season for most of us, and as per usual, Enbridge and FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) have been busy preparing presents for all of us!  

On Monday, Enbridge filed the Final Release Abatement Measure along with some very unsatisfactory answers to all of our comments. This Final RAM allows them to start digging in the arsenic and oil laden soil.  The DEP did not even make them answer to the questions of asbestos in the soil due to the decomposing furnace bricks.  Enbridge filed a notice with the Conservation Commission of the Town of Weymouth to begin digging this coming Tuesday, December 3!  You can read the RAM here--all 1692 pages of it. 

This morning, FERC granted Enbridge the Notice to Proceed (NTP) construction on the compressor station.  While this was not unexpected, it comes over the objections of all of us, our Federal delegation, our state legislators, the Town of Weymouth, our allies, and pretty much everyone you can think of except for Gov. Baker. 

While the contracts for the gas dry up, FERC is abdicating its role as overseeing "necessity" for gas and gas infrastructure.  They are an agency that has always been in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry, but now they are just allowing the gas companies to do whatever they want without proving need for the gas.  And, guess what?  We will all pay for the folly of Enbridge and FERC through our utility bills.  National Grid and Eversource say they don't need more gas and they don't need the Weymouth compressor station.  NG New England (Canadian company) is trying to sell their contracts back to National Grid.  Irving (Canadian as well) has entered into new agreements to get the gas they were to receive from this pipeline from Canadian sources.  No need for the gas.  No need for the compressor.  But Enbridge wants it, so FERC provides...with your money.

We really did not want to ruin your Thanksgiving, but we want you to know that we are still in the fight.  With your help--your time, your treasure, and your talent--we are not giving up this fight.  We will work to stop this by all means available.  And we need you to stay focused, stay strong, and stay with us as a community.  

How are we fighting?  We are:
  • Fighting in court on the Air Quality permit and the Waterways permit. We are also looking for appellate relief on the Coastal Zone Management determination.
  • Working with our local governments and our state delegation to keep the heat on FERC and Enbridge for this unnecessary compressor in our Environmental Justice neighborhoods.
  • Working with our federal delegation to change FERC and their mandate to push fossil fuel.
  • Working with our allies to organize actions on the ground.
  • Working with all of you to keep you informed, organized, and strong.
Will you join us?  If you have not signed the pledge yet, please go here to sign up to help on the ground wherever you can.  https://www.nocompressor.com/

To the Trolls who are likely on this email site, know that we are not going to give up or give in.  Those who seek to destroy our coastal home and our planet will ultimately lose this war.  Let's hope that it is sooner than later, as every day we get closer to planetary destruction.  All because the few refuse to join the many to save us all.  We wish you a change of heart and attitude over this season. We invite you to join our side.

Just one more thing--FRRACS is committed to non-violence in our thoughts, our words, and our deeds.  We will continue non-violent civil disobedience trainings throughout this battle.  If you have not attended a training, please check our Facebook page or the website for upcoming times.  

We were reminded this morning by Dr. Curt Nordgaard of a poem by Maya Angelou. "You may trod me in the very dirt. But still, like dust, I'll rise."  

We wil rise.  

In Peace and Solidarity,
The FRRACS Team 

https://www.nocompressor.com/
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Friday, May 10, 2019

MassCEC launches pilot program for whole-home heat pumps




MassCEC launches pilot program for whole-home heat pumps

Announcing the Whole-Home
Air-Source Heat Pump Pilot Program

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center ("MassCEC") is excited to announce the launch of our Whole-Home Air-Source Heat Pump Pilot.

MassCEC has allocated $500,000 to provide rebates for the installation of whole-home air-source heat pump ("ASHP") systems at residential properties – specifically at existing homes with natural gas and new construction projects designed to operate without fossil fuels. This pilot is meant to support ASHP systems that function as the sole source of heating in a home without the need for supplementary or back-up heat. The Pilot will accept applications until December 31, 2019 or until all allocated funding has been awarded
MassCEC launches pilot program for whole-home heat pumps
HVAC contractors interested in becoming a participating installer should review the requirements in the Pilot Program Manual and reach out to ashp@masscec.com with any questions.

Through the pilot program, MassCEC will promote projects at the leading edge of Massachusetts' strategic electrification efforts. A major goal of the pilot is collecting learnings and information on whole-home ASHP systems, so we look forward to sharing preliminary results, lessons learned, and case studies through the pilot program. Read our blog post to learn more about the goals of the pilot, and please reach out to us if you have any questions or ideas.

Further program information can be found at www.masscec.com/clean-heating-and-cooling/air-source-heat-pumps.
Warmly,
The MassCEC Air-Source Heat Pump Team
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
The MassCEC Air-Source Heat Pump Team
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
63 Franklin St, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02110
617-315-9300 |
ASHP@masscec.com


Massachusetts Clean Energy Center  
Grow the state's clean energy industry while helping to meet the Commonwealth's clean energy and climate goals.


Copyright © 2019 Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, All rights reserved
63 Franklin Street, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02110

Phone: 617-315-9300
Fax: 617-315-9356