Submitted on behalf of State Rep Ken Gordon (D-Bedford)
Significant investments would come to Bedford and Burlington through advancements in the microgrid, electric vehicles, and energy storage projects
Casting a unanimous vote 158 members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed legislation to invest $1.3 billion to help cities and towns across Massachusetts fund infrastructure projects aimed at fighting climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“It is critical we take the initiative to reverse the issues climate change has created and work to take our communities and towns towards a cleaner, greener future,” said Gordon. “Bedford and Burlington have already taken their own steps to move toward a sustainable and environmentally-friendly future, so to support their efforts was an easy choice to make.”
To date, Bedford has enacted a Park and Pedal program where commuters and residents can park their cars at the outskirts of town and ride their bikes to work. Burlington has installed [solar] panels on both Burlington High School and Marshall Simonds Middle School.
Modeled after the state’s MassWorks program, GreenWorks funds projects that improve climate preparedness and resiliency, promote or produce clean energy or energy efficiency, build energy storage facilities, implement measures included in Massachusetts’ statewide climate adaptation strategy or otherwise help mitigate the impacts of climate change or reduce carbon emissions.
“Combating Climate change is one of the most important tasks before us,” said Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Chair of the House Committee on Ways & Means (D-Boston). “By making such a substantial investment into climate resiliency, this legislation will help our communities better prepare for the challenges that lay ahead.”
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs will accept applications annually and administer the program, which is funded through the issuance of bonds. In addition, the legislation makes targeted investments of $325 million in energy infrastructure, including:$100 million for investments in municipal microgrid energy systems
- $125 million for electric vehicles in municipal or regional transit authority fleets
- $20 million for the hiring of sustainability coordinators to develop and manage municipal projects resulting for the GreenWorks program
- $50 million to establish the Green Resiliency Fund to offer low-interest loans for municipalities when pursuing GreenWorks projects
- $30 million for the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources’ MOR-EV electric vehicle rebate program
The bill was been sent to the Senate at the end of July.