Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop) announced a new House of Representatives 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, creating an immediate impact.
“This long-term investment will help Massachusetts cities and towns build sustainable and resilient communities,” said Speaker DeLeo. “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.”
“Over the past few years, we have seen the effects of climate change on Cape Ann. Rising tides, flooding, and more intensive storms seem to have become our new normal,” said Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester). “This funding will enable us to respond to infrastructure and climate challenges. I’m proud to support this investment and I look forward to working on this legislation in partnership with Senator Tarr, Representative Hill, and our local officials.”
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, and resiliency infrastructure. Under the proposal, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs will administer the grants through its agencies.
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.
“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.”