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State hands out green grants to area communities

  • Northampton city hall File photo



@RebeccaMMullen
Thursday, June 22, 2017

Several towns in Hampshire and Franklin counties landed state grants this week to fund clean energy projects ranging from LED lighting upgrades and other conservation measures to schools and municipal buildings.

Among the recipients were Northampton, Belchertown, Hatfield, Leverett, Sunderland and Whately.

The grants are part of a statewide Green Communities initiative by the Department of Energy Resources. In the latest round of funding, some 72 communities are splitting $14 million in grant money.

Here is a summary of the grants for communities in Hampshire County and some Franklin County towns:

Northampton’s $247,507 grant will go toward installing LED lights at six city schools.

“These lighting upgrades in our city schools will not only help us reduce our energy cost but it will also continue our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change,” Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz said in a statement.

The mayor accepted the grant at a ceremony in Boston this week.

Last summer, Northampton changed all of its 2,000 streetlights to LED lights. The switch reduced the city’s annual street lighting electric bill by 75 percent and saved $180,000, Narkewicz said. The new lights also save enough electricity to power 120 homes and reduced the city’s annual greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 300 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Belchertown’s $195,358 grant will be used to fund energy conservation measures in 15 municipal facilities, primarily LED lighting conversions.

In Hatfield, a $66,216 grant will be used to fund energy conservation measures in municipal facilities, including Hatfield Elementary School, Smith Academy High School, the public library, the wastewater treatment plant office and the Fire Department.

The measures include LED lighting upgrades, weatherization and grant management assistance.

Leverett will use its $68,437 grant to fund energy conservation measures in municipal facilities including the public library, public safety complex and Leverett Elementary School.

The measures are LED lighting upgrades and grant management assistance.

Sunderland’s grant of $129,805 will fund energy conservation measures in municipal facilities including Sunderland Elementary School, town offices, and public safety complex.

The measures are digital control ventilation upgrades, insulation, window inserts and an energy recovery unit.

Whately’s $164,310 grant will fund energy conservation measures in municipal facilities, including Town Hall. The measures funded by this grant are a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment upgrade, building envelope improvements, and interior lighting retrofit.

The grants are part of a statewide Green Communities initiative from the Department of Energy Resources, which has awarded over $80 million in grants to qualifying municipalities over the past seven years. One hundred and eighty-five cities and towns in Massachusetts are now counted as Green Communities.

“Green Communities Competitive Grants helps us achieve our energy goals and continue to lead the nation in energy efficiency and renewable energy.” Senate President Stan Rosenberg of Amherst said in a statement.