Patrick-Murray administration presents 6th annual Leading by Example awards

BOSTON – Thursday, October 25, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick’s Leading by Example Program today recognized state agencies, municipalities, institutes of higher education, a regional planning commission, and two individuals for significantly reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, increased recycling, the use of renewable energy, and other clean energy and environmental quality initiatives.

Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan helped present the 2012 Leading by Example Awards to the Departments of Correction (DOC) and Conservation and Recreation (DCR), North Shore Community College, and the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Lowell. Awards also went to the Towns of Sutton and Scituate, the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission and two individuals who have made significant impacts: Betty Ann Learned of Massasoit Community College and James Kelly of the Town of Sudbury.

“Governor Patrick has set some of the most ambitious energy efficiency and renewable energy targets in the nation, and our state and local governments are setting the pace when it comes to reaching those targets,” said Secretary Sullivan. “This year’s winners are really walking the walk and taking steps that will continue to yield long-term environmental and economic dividends for years to come.”

Earlier this month, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) named Massachusetts number one in its annual state-by-state energy efficiency scorecard. Massachusetts topped the nation for the second straight year, thanks to the Commonwealth’s clean energy policies, including the Green Communities Act of 2008, and innovative energy efficiency programs like Leading by Example. View the 2012 ACEEE report here.

Leading by Example was established by an April 2007 Executive Order in which Governor Patrick directed agencies of state government to improve energy efficiency, promote clean energy technology, and reduce their environmental impacts. The Executive Order calls on state government to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent and reduce energy consumption at state-owned and leased facilities by 20 percent.

Leading by Example efforts have resulted in significant accomplishments in recent years, including an increase in the amount of installed solar PV at state facilities from 100 kW in 2007 to more than 6 MW in 2012 and an increase in the amount of installed wind at state facilities from 660 kW in 2007 to over 11 MW in 2012 – an 18-fold increase.

The Green Communities Division works with all Commonwealth municipalities to help them maximize energy efficiency in public buildings, including schools, city halls, and public works and public safety buildings; generate clean energy from renewable sources; and manage rising energy costs. There are now 103 municipalities that have been designated as Green Communities, qualifying them for nearly $23 million in funding for clean energy projects and initiatives.

Each year, Leading by Example Awards go to state agencies, public higher education institutions, municipalities, and individuals that demonstrate outstanding clean energy and environmental leadership. Today’s State House awards ceremony was officiated by Secretary Sullivan, Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia, Division of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) Commissioner Carole Cornelison and Operational Services Division (OSD) Director of Strategic Sourcing Kathy Reilly.

“An integral component of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s clean energy agenda, the Leading by Example program advances public sector use of technologies and strategies that save energy and water resources while growing our renewable energy footprint,” Commissioner Sylvia said. “It’s efforts like those we are celebrating today that have made Massachusetts a national standout on clean energy and environmental leadership.”

“The Leading by Example program is another example of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s commitment to promoting sustainable energy practices at state facilities,” said Commissioner of the Division of Capital Asset Management Carole Cornelison.  “This initiative will ensure that best practices of energy use and environmental stewardship are implemented throughout the Commonwealth.”

In the state agency category, DOC received a Leading by Example Award for a series of innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives. It has installed two commercial wind turbines, totaling 3.3 MW capacity at its Gardner facility, completed the second phase of a large scale solar PV installation at multiple sites totaling 1 MW of solar PV, changed out lights to save an estimated $50,000, reduced water usage at its Norfolk/Walpole Correctional Complex by 25 percent, and increased recycling department-wide by 50 percent.

“At the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, we are proud of progress the Department of Correction has made continuing to pursue and expand the Commonwealth’s sustainable agenda. We’ve reduced waste through recycling, increased energy self-reliance by using wind to generate our own power and installed conservation devices in our facilities that save over 100,000 gallons of water a day,” said Public Safety Secretary Mary Beth Heffernan. “A Milestone has been met, but there’s much more to do and we look forward to continuing our leadership role in these efforts.”

The Department of Conservation and Recreation was recognized with a Leading by Example Award in 2009, but that did not stop them from continuing to identify additional renewable energy and energy efficiency opportunities. This past year, DCR opened the Connors Memorial Swimming Pool in Waltham. The $5.3 million dollar rehab project incorporated solar PV for electricity and solar thermal for hot water, and is expected to be near zero-net energy. DCR also installed a wood pellet boiler system at its District Headquarters in Amherst, installed solar PV arrays at Waquoit Bay Research Center and Chickatawbut Hill, and the recycling rate is up to 90 percent at its Boston Headquarters. These efforts have led to a 2012 Leading by Example award.

“DCR is enormously proud to receive the 2012 Leading by Example Award!” said DCR Commissioner Ed Lambert. “We consider ourselves the can-do-agency that adds value wherever possible and this award speaks to that mission directly. It also reinforces the work we’ve done at every level of DCR to use best practices, move forward, and be green. Whether it be in house, at the rink, in our parks, or on the islands, DCR is committed to energy efficiency and green standards.”

In the state college and university category, North Shore Community College (NSCC) has made great strides to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. Its Danvers Health Professions and Student Services Building became the first state-owned zero net energy pilot project. NSCC is also home to a 345 kW solar PV system and an innovative greywater storage tank utilized for landscape irrigation and toilet flushing.

The other winner in this category, UMass Lowell, has been making clean energy and energy efficiency improvements for several years. UMass Lowell has converted its boiler from oil to natural gas, increased its recycling rate by more than 376 percent since 2008, and is the first New England college or university to achieve GREENGUARD certification, aimed at protecting human health and improving quality of life by enhancing indoor air quality and reducing exposure to chemicals and other pollutants.

In the municipal category, the Town of Scituate has made a number of clean energy investments that are expected to save energy costs for the Town. Scituate’s 1.5 MW wind turbine is expected to save the Town $160,000 in its first year of commercial operation and generate about 50 percent of the Town’s electrical needs for 15 years. Scituate has also entered into an agreement to construct a 3 MW ground-mounted solar PV system on the Town’s 15-acre capped landfill. Estimated annual savings of the system are $250,000. Scituate was designated a Green Community in 2011.

Also receiving a Leading by Example Award, and also a Green Community, the Town of Sutton is undergoing several energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Sutton used ARRA funding to install a 201 kW solar PV system on the Early Learning Center, which is expected to save the Town $25,340 a year. It is currently constructing a 75 kW solar PV system on the new Middle/High School, and conducting a hydro feasibility study at the Manchaug Dam.

The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (MVPC), which represents 15 municipalities, also received a Leading by Example Award today. The MVPC has developed its own clean energy action plan, an innovative, action-oriented platform for participating cities and towns to advance their energy goals. Among its other achievements, the MVPC has issued a regional solicitation for energy management services on behalf of 11 member communities and two regional school districts, contracted with Meridian Associates to assess the feasibility of installing ground mounted solar PV systems on closed landfills, and procured services for its member communities to pursue the development of solar PV on closed landfills.

For the second straight year, Leading by Example Awards were presented to two individuals. Norton resident Betty Ann Learned served as Massasoit Community College’s Vice President of Administration and Chief Financial Officer from 2007 through June of this year, where she worked to implement a comprehensive energy and water conservation project, which is now entering its third and final phase. When it is completed, this project is expected to save $12 million over 20 years with a 40 percent reduction in annual energy use. Learned also oversaw the installation of a 370 kW solar PV on campus, which is expected to reduce the college’s energy bill by $55,000 a year. Under Learned’s leadership, Massasoit has installed a 35,000 square foot wildflower meadow, a rain guard designed to reduce storm water run-off and a perennial edible garden.

The other individual to receive a Leading by Example Award is James Kelly of Sudbury. Under Kelly’s leadership as the Town’s Building Commissioner and Zoning Enforcement Officer, Sudbury was among the first group of municipalities designated as Green Communities. Kelly has overseen the installation of solar thermal and solar PV systems on the Town Community Center and managed a streetlight conversion project that will save Sudbury an estimated $21,000 a year. He is currently working on many new projects, including a possible large scale solar PV array on the Town landfill, and retrofitting historic buildings.

Information about the Leading by Example Program.

Legislative Reaction to today’s awards:

“Scituate has become a role model for municipalities throughout the Commonwealth by taking an all-inclusive approach to developing a sustainable community,” said Sen. Robert Hedlund. “I want to commend the residents and town leaders for their work and vision in this area.”

“There have been a lot of exciting projects happening in terms of green energy initiatives in Scituate. We have valuable resources available to use that allow us to increase efficiency while decreasing our carbon emissions, and now is the time to expand programs like those that have successfully been implemented. I look forward to future initiatives to further establish Scituate as a leading green community,” said Rep. James Cantwell.

“I am pleased that Secretary Sullivan has recognized the Town of Scituate’s leadership on green energy,” said Rep. Garrett Bradley. “This award is a testament to the Town’s steadfast commitment to finding innovative ways to save money and reduce their carbon footprint. All cities and towns across the Commonwealth should look to Scituate as a model for their future energy and environmental policies.”

“From its designation as a Green Community in 2011, to participating in Solarize Mass and also pursuing a host of thoughtful renewable energy projects, Sutton is leading the Commonwealth in its efforts to ‘go green,’” said Sen. Richard T. Moore. “I applaud the local officials and residents who have embraced these initiatives as they will not only contribute to our goal of improving the environment through clean energy, but help curb energy costs for the Town and even support a vital sector of the Massachusetts economy.”

“I know North Shore Community College is extremely committed to reducing their carbon footprint and making our environment safer,” said Rep. Ted Speliotis. “They certainly deserve this award.”

“Ms. Learned’s impressive list of accomplishments should serve as a model in the Commonwealth for putting good public policy into practice,” said Sen. Jim Timilty. “Her work has prioritized energy efficiency and community involvement, which brings both an immediate positive impact to the area and a foundation for lasting effects – a true win-win scenario.”

“I’d like to congratulate and thank Jim Kelly, Sudbury’s Building Inspector and a Sudbury resident, for his impressive efforts in reducing energy use for the Town of Sudbury, and for being a recipient of the Leading by Example Award,” said Sen. Jamie Eldridge. “The Town of Sudbury, a Green Community, is a shining example of what a community and just one individual in a community can do to make a difference through energy savings, while contributing to Massachusetts’ commitment to reducing oru global warming footprint.”