Natick Working Toward More Renewable Energy SourcesSep 02, 2021 10:54AM ● By Chuck Tashjian
Across Massachusetts, cities and towns are leading the way to a future powered entirely by clean and renewable sources of energy. Municipal officials and staff — working with citizen activists, volunteers, nonprofit organizations, and businesses — are taking action to reduce fossil fuel consumption and increase the use of renewable energy.
This is the fourth edition of Renewable Communities, previously published in 2016, 2019, and 2020. This year’s report includes seven new case studies of cities, towns, and regional agencies that have adopted innovative programs to promote renewable electricity, energy storage, clean heating, and energy efficiency.
Case studies from Renewable Communities 2021
• Arlington and Winchester: A community outreach campaign resulted in 224 contracts signed for the installation of clean heating systems like air source heat pumps.
• Chelsea: A proposed microgrid, managed by an innovative cloud-based system, would ensure clean, reliable power for buildings that provide key services to the community.
• CVEC (Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative): A coordinated approach to renewable energy deployment, bringing together dozens of municipalities and government agencies, has led to more than 50 megawatts of solar capacity built or in development.
• Mendon and Upton: A Solarize Mass Plus program offered residents a choice of six different clean energy technologies, including solar, battery storage, and air source heat pumps.
• Natick: Town officials have pursued several strategies to increase the deployment of solar on municipal buildings and on homes.
• Springfield: A 4.7-megawatt community solar array, built on a former landfill, is providing affordable electricity to hundreds of low-income residents.
• Worcester: The city’s Community Choice Aggregation Program is providing residents with a higher percentage of renewable electricity from sources in New England.