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Patrick-Murray administration launches new clean energy program 

Credit:  By States News Service, www.utilityproducts.com ~~

The following information was released by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP):

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) today announced the launch of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)/Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Clean Energy Results Program, an innovative new initiative that will advance the Patrick-Murray Administration’s goals for creating sources of renewable energy and encouraging energy efficient development.

Clean Energy Results

Program Web Page

Questins and Answers

Activities and Goals

The Clean Energy Results Program will further encourage the development of clean energy projects in Massachusetts by focusing the scientific expertise of MassDEP and DOER in an effort to streamline the technical and regulatory barriers and siting and permitting processes related to these projects.

“The Clean Energy Results Program is the latest chapter in the successful integration of energy and the environment under Governor Patrick’s leadership,” Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan said. “Development of greener, less-polluting energy sources is a core focus of the Governor’s environmental and public health goals for the Commonwealth.”

In 2007, the Patrick-Murray Administration made the landmark move of combining state energy agencies (Department of Public Utilities and DOER) into the Environmental Secretariat alongside MassDEP and other environmental agencies. Since that time, Massachusetts has become the most energy efficient state in the country, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). ACEEE’s state-by-state energy efficiency scorecard ranked Massachusetts above California, noting the Patrick-Murray Administration’s clean energy agenda, which includes innovative energy efficiency programs like this one. View ACEEE’s report here.

Governor Patrick has also directed all agencies to achieve permitting at the speed of business, and this initiative will harness MassDEP’s unique scientific and regulatory expertise to advance the timely permitting of clean energy projects.

“This pioneering new program bolsters MassDEP’s existing efforts to reduce barriers to clean energy development across the state, and streamlines agency assistance to clean energy developers, municipal officials, and the public,” MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell said.

“This effort will greatly help the Commonwealth see on-the-ground installation of technologies that qualify under the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio (RPS) and Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (APS) to help meet the Commonwealth’s ambitious clean energy mandates,” DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia said.

Working together, MassDEP and DOER have developed the following short- and long-term goals for this results-driven initiative:

In conjunction with public and private sector partners, ensure that at least three anaerobic digestion/Combined Heat and Power (CHP) projects are permitted, constructed, and operated by 2014, and monitor environmental performance to determine best practices.

By 2012, and in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, complete the review of any potential health impacts associated with wind turbines through the expert science panel that has already been convened, and advance public discussion on the health effects of wind turbines based on sound science.

By 2013, increase the use of renewable energy at participating Energy Leaders drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities by 50 percent using the benchmark of 2007 energy generation and use.

Increase energy production from aerobic and anaerobic digestion to 50 megawatts (375 GWh/y) by 2020.

Achieve the Commonwealth’s goals of diverting 350,000 tons per year of organic material from landfills and incinerators by boosting use of anaerobic digestion, CHP, recycling, and composting.

Achieve zero-net energy at 20 percent of drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities by 2020 through generation of on-site energy in a quantity equal to or greater than the total amount of energy consumed.

By 2020, achieve 50 megawatts of new solar photovoltaic on underutilized contaminated land (landfills and Brownfields) helping meet the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) Solar Carve-Out target of 400 megawatts of solar photovoltaic (PV), and creating green jobs and tax revenue benefitting Massachusetts communities.

Clean energy firms welcome this new initiative. “This program, which actively facilitates clean energy projects throughout the Commonwealth, forges a new approach for the agency in its role of protecting the environment,” said Paul Sellew, Chief Executive Officer of Harvest Power, a Massachusetts-based firm that converts organic materials into renewable energy and compost. “We see strong synergies between clean energy and a healthy environment, and we welcome the focus of MassDEP and DOER in getting clean energy projects built in Massachusetts.”

For more information on the MassDEP/DOER Clean Energy Results Program, turn to: www.mass.gov/dep/cleanenergy.htm

The announcement was made at the Scituate Town Landfill where Brightfields Development LLC of Wellesley, through an agreement with the Town of Scituate, is installing a 3.6-megawatt solar array. Scituate will purchase 100 percent of the power to provide energy to the town’s schools and municipal buildings. This project will be one of the largest municipal landfill solar projects to be constructed in Massachusetts, consisting of 12,320 photovoltaic modules that will generate 4.5 million kilowatt hours of energy in the first year. The town will benefit from energy savings from a net-metering agreement.

The successful solar reuse of the Scituate landfill site was made possible, in large part, due to proactive, regulatory assistance provided through the close partnership of MassDEP and DOER that will be instituted across all MassDEP programs under the Clean Energy Results Program. Using a highly proactive approach of assisting the town even before any formal permit application was filed, MassDEP cut the permitting timeline in half.

“The Town of Scituate’s solar project was expedited by the excellent, proactive support MassDEP’s Southeast Region provided to us and our energy partner, Brightfields Development of Wellesley,” Scituate Public Works Director Al Bangert said. “This is an important project for the town from both the economic and the environmental points of view. We expect that this solar field will provide fully one-half of the town’s municipal electric energy requirements and reduce our carbon footprint.”

“The Clean Energy Results Program represents a great opportunity for the Town of Scituate and can serve as a model for the Commonwealth to take advantage of important renewable energy technology while saving the community on energy costs,” state Senator Robert Hedlund said. “I applaud the collaborative effort the administration has undertaken to implement a worthwhile program such as this.”

“I applaud Scituate for building this solar generating development at the landfill. By promoting clean, renewable energy resources for the future, local officials and residents of Scituate are helping Massachusetts become more energy independent while reducing the use of oil, coal and other non-renewable sources,” state Rep. Garret J. Bradley said. “I also thank Governor Patrick and his administration for supporting and promoting this clean energy program, which will help protect the environment while providing jobs and economic opportunity.”

“Scituate has long been a leader in implementing clean and efficient energy sources, and I’m proud to say this solar development at the landfill is a perfect fit for the town. It will generate significant cost savings all while helping the state reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” state Rep. James Cantwell said. “This project demonstrates Scituate’s commitment to the environment and its continued future here in the state as a clean energy leader.”

“One year ago, Brightfields was selected to build the solar power facility on Scituate’s municipal landfill because of our long-standing Brownfields and power generation experience. MassDEP¸ NationalGrid and especially the Town of Scituate have all participated in the success of this project,” said Pete Pedersen, Managing Partner of Brightfields Development LLC. “For us at Brightfields, building solar on land that has no other practical use is the perfect way to combine a new renewable energy future with constructive land revitalization. We welcome the new Clean Energy Results Program, because with guidance and implementation of modest adjustments to the existing solar market, other projects will also be able to help Massachusetts meet its important renewable power goals.”

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.

Copyright 2011 States News Service

Wire News provided by


Source:  By States News Service, www.utilityproducts.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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