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Wednesday, January 14 2015

City Wins Grant for GHS Resiliency Project

Adapted from a Greenfield Mayor's Office press release:

Greenfield has been awarded a $367,310 grant as part of a new Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative that helps municipalities be better prepared to continue providing critical community services during extended power outages.  Our city's award will fund battery storage to complement a proposed 207kW solar PV installation at the new LEED certified high school.

Mayor William Martin said, “The high school is in a perfect location to provide shelter and necessary services to the town’s populations in times of power outages. Once again, the state is supporting Greenfield in developing a groundbreaking technology that enables Greenfield to provide critical community services in times of emergency. I am also happy to say that there will be ongoing benefits to this project as well. In addition to providing an excellent educational opportunity at our new high school, the PV array will reduce the electricity costs and will help further the town’s clean energy goals.”

“Currently, the back-up power at the site is diesel powered generators that will operate for 2-3 days. With recent severe weather events and accompanying power outages for up to 1 week in some local areas, there is a strong need to have more resilient facilities that can meet the community’s needs,” said Carole Collins, Greenfield’s Energy and Sustainability Director. “The town’s new high school employs energy management systems that are already programmed to serve identified critical areas in the event of a power outage. This facility is identified as a community shelter and the new capacity can serve the community in a central location. The systems are already in place to harden the high school into becoming a black-start capable, islandable renewable energy generating shelter to meet the community’s emergency needs.”

Greenfield’s grant is part of $18.4 million awarded to about a dozen municipalities and is a follow up to a technical assistance study, also funded through the Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative, that evaluated the feasibility of battery storage as a viable option for the high school.

In January 2014, Governor Patrick announced a coordinated plan for climate preparedness to increase resiliency across the Commonwealth.  Through this initiative, $40 million in state funding has been made available to cities and towns that identify facilities in their communities where the loss of electrical service would result in the disruption of a critical public safety or life-sustaining function.  These include emergency services, shelters, food and fuel supply, and communications infrastructure. Municipalities can use the funding to implement clean energy technologies to keep their energy systems operable.

Funding for the Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative comes from Alternative Compliance Payments (ACP), which are paid by electrical retail suppliers if they have insufficient Renewable or Alternative Energy Certificates to meet their compliance obligations under the Renewable and Alternative Portfolio Standard programs.