What can you do with $1.3 million worth of renewable energy funding? Well, if you’re the City of Boston the answer is quite a bit. On Thursday, September 25 the City received $1.3 million through Governor Patrick’s Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative to make Boston greener and more prepared for climate change through the use of renewable energy at Boston's emergency shelters.

The City will use this funding to install solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays with battery storage at four Boston Center for Youth and Families (BCYF) facilities: Curtis Hall, Tobin Community Center, Shelburne Community Center, and Roslindale Community Center. These facilities serve as emergency shelters and were selected based on their location, accessibility, and amenities. Additionally, all of four facilities have recently had their roofs replaced, making them better suited to support solar PV systems.

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The solar PV with battery storage will enable these facilities to be islandable from the power grid –which means that, during a power outage, the new PV systems will provide these facilities power for operations including lighting and heating systems for up to three days.

So what does this have to do with climate change? We are already seeing more frequent weather events and this will continue as the climate changes. By making emergency shelters islandable, these shelters will be better equipped to respond during an emergency situation if the city loses power. Furthermore, the solar PV will supply the facilities with clean, renewable energy, even during non-emergencies.

As part of the Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER)awarded $7 million in funding to six cities and towns in Massachusetts, including Boston. This funding will go towards implementing clean energy technologies that will help improve resiliency at critical facilities during emergency events.

This announcement marks an important next step of climate actions, which communities across MA are spearheading. For Boston, this funding opportunity will further strengthen the City’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as prepare for the changing climate.

To learn more about the DOER grant and other awarded projects, you can read the full press release here

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