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House Announces $1B GreenWorks Resilient Communities Investment Plan

February 27, 2019

BOSTON, FEB. 27 – Representative William J. Driscoll, Jr. (D-Milton & Randolph) joined his colleagues last week to announce a new initiative to invest $1 billion over the next 10 years to help communities across Massachusetts adopt technologies – including clean energy, energy efficiency, and climate change resiliency measures – that cut greenhouse gas emissions, fortify infrastructure and reduce municipal costs.


The proposal – known as GreenWorks – builds on a long-standing House approach providing concrete tools directly to communities with an immediate impact.


“This long-term investment will help Massachusetts cities and towns build sustainable and resilient communities,” said Speaker DeLeo, (D – Winthrop).  “Not only will cities and towns have the ability to cut greenhouse gases and lower long-term energy and operating costs, but they will adopt Massachusetts-made innovative technologies and put people to work on cleantech infrastructure projects.”


“GreenWorks, led by the House, is an important initiative that will enable municipalities greater flexibility in how they define their resiliency projects,” said Representative Driscoll. “The overarching need to act is clear, and with GreenWorks, each community will be empowered to pursue solutions that fit their specific clean energy goals.”


These competitive grants are for cities and towns to fund projects including, but not limited to energy efficient buildings, solar, microgrids, energy storage, electric vehicle charging stations, or resiliency infrastructure. Under the proposal, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs will administer the grants through its agencies.


“Under Speaker Deleo’s leadership, the GreenWorks plan represents an exciting opportunity to pursue innovative approaches to funding clean energy, energy efficiency, and climate change resiliency projects that will make a real impact in cities and towns across the Commonwealth,” said Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr. (D-Lowell), Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy. “I applaud the Speaker’s strong commitment to advancing Massachusetts towards a clean energy future, and I look forward to productive conversations in the House.”


Speaker DeLeo unveiled the legislation during a visit to the Greentown Labs Global Center for Cleantech Innovation. Located in Somerville, Greentown Labs is the largest cleantech business incubator in the United States. Since its founding in 2011, it has graduated more than 170 companies with more than 86 percent of them still in operation.


“Greentown Labs’ mission is to support cleantech startups and help get their technologies to market,” said Emily Reichert, CEO of GreenTown Labs. “We’re excited to learn of Speaker DeLeo's new GreenWorks plan and eager to see the positive impact it will make on deploying cleantech and clean energy solutions across the Commonwealth.”


"NECEC commends Speaker DeLeo for his leadership on helping cities and towns across the Commonwealth accelerate their transition to a clean and resilient economy," said Northeast Clean Energy Council President Peter Rothstein. "Creative steps towards addressing climate change need to be taken now, and the legislation announced today will allow Massachusetts communities to invest in and deploy the latest innovations in clean energy. The timely economic and environmental benefits of GreenWorks grants will be felt immediately, while also expanding the Commonwealth's market signals over the next decade, embracing cost-effective investments in leading edge clean technologies."


"ELM welcomes Speaker DeLeo's announcement.  The Commonwealth has so much to gain from proactively investing in resiliency and sustainability – and so much to lose from inertia,” said Environmental League of Massachusetts President Elizabeth Henry.  “We look forward to working with the Speaker and the Legislature to craft an effective program."


“Supporting communities – large and small – to reduce carbon emissions though energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives is a smart and powerful solution,” said Sue Coakley, Executive Director of Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP). “NEEP applauds efforts to fund Massachusetts community leadership to provide inspiring and impactful building decarbonization solutions, and look forward to assisting these efforts.”  

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© 2019 William Driscoll, Jr.