Governor Deval Patrick today joined tenants of the Cummings Center in Beverly to celebrate the completion of several clean energy projects at the former United Shoe Machinery Corporation factory and brownfield site. The new facility, home to 40 life sciences companies, features 882 kilowatts of solar electricity panels. Two more arrays are under development and will bring the total to 1.5 megawatts, estimated to save 3.7 million kilowatt hours and $2.5 million in energy costs annually.
"When we create energy locally, we don't pay high economic and environmental costs to transport it here," said Governor Deval Patrick. "Building clean energy here not only cuts greenhouse gas emissions but it also frees us from the volatile pricing of fossil fuels."
The development will include energy efficiency upgrades such as high efficiency boilers, 12,000 energy efficient fixtures, an electric vehicle charging station and 1.5 megawatts of solar electricity when complete.
"This project is a model of an integrated approach to clean energy improvements that cuts energy use, protects our environment, and creates local jobs," said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rick Sullivan.
The electric energy savings from the projects are estimated to be 3.7 million kWh annually---enough to power 462 typical Massachusetts homes. The boiler retrofits will save an estimated 63,000 therms of natural gas annually, enough to heat 75 typical homes annually. The savings from the current 882 kilowatts of solar is expected to save $160,000 annually. Most of Cummings' tenants pay their own electric bills, so they benefit from the savings. The solar inverters are purchased from the manufacturer, Solectria Renewables of Lawrence.
"In addition to the annual energy and financial savings that the company and tenants will enjoy, the economic case for these efficiency projects was even stronger thanks to $1 million in Mass Save® incentives through National Grid," said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner (DOER) Mark Sylvia.
Cummings Properties purchased the Cummings Center -- the former site of the massive former United Shoe Machinery Corporation factory and brownfield site -- and developed it into a 2 million square-foot office and technology park. A total of 40 life sciences companies, including a start-up incubator for developing companies, occupy more than 500,000 square feet at the Cummings Center.
Beverly has a long history of clean energy adoption. In December 2011, Beverly was designated a Green Community by the DOER's Green Communities Division. The city is using a $206,475 grant to fund an energy management system and ventilation, air conditioning and equipment upgrades at multiple schools. Beverly is also home to the oldest ground-mounted solar project in the state, installed in the 1970s, adjacent to the current high school.
The energy efficiency improvements and solar installations at the Cummings Center, a model clean energy business campus, include:
236KW solar array above East Garage
366KW solar array currently under construction above West Garage
Two additional solar arrays totaling more than 850KW currently being developed
Energy Efficiency Improvements
27 new, high efficiency boilers
More than 12,000 lights retrofitted to energy efficient fixtures
Variable speed energy management controls
Electric car charger
On Wednesday, Governor Patrick outlined the progress of the Patrick-Murray Administration's clean energy agenda in an address to clean energy leaders and stakeholders at FastCap Systems in Boston's Innovation District. The Governor promised to build on four years of successful energy efficiency and clean and renewable energy policies, pledging to make Massachusetts a global leader in an industry that creates jobs, stabilizes costs and protects our environment.
Clean energy employment in Massachusetts grew by 6.7 percent during 2011 and the industry expects to meet or exceed this job growth in 2012. To date, the Patrick-Murray Administration's investments and policies have created close to 115 megawatts of solar power, the equivalent of taking 9,500 cars off the road each year or producing enough electricity to power more than 18,000 homes. In the last three years alone, Massachusetts consumers have saved nearly 40 percent on their electric bills.