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Municipal Perspectives for Renewable Energy Adoption_Barnes

  1. Municipal Perspectives for Renewable Energy/Sustainability Adoption May 12, 2016 Jeffrey Barnes Metrowest TechSandBox Clean Technology/Energy SIG
  2. Town of Hopkinton • Community-wide Recycling – 1970s • Sustainable Green Committee – 2008 • Wind Energy Bylaw – 2009 • Designated MA Green Community – 2010 • Commercial Solar PV Bylaw – 2013 • Schools, School Administration Building, Fire Station & Police Station – Solar PV/Building Energy Efficiency – 2008-2010 • Low-impact development (LID) techniques required by PB/CC - 2014 • New public library – Geothermal heating/cooling - 2017 • Non-profits (i.e., HCA, Respite Center) solar PV – 2014-2015 • Over 400 homes with residential solar PV • Approved commercial solar PV system – two others currently proposed, one denied • EV Charging Stations – 2014/2016 • LED exterior lighting required for new commercial development -2014 MA Municipal Leader in Sustainability/Renewable Energy
  3. Hopkinton Sustainable Green Committee The mission of the Hopkinton Sustainable Green Committee is to promote sustainable and environmentally responsible practices in the Town of Hopkinton. The Committee will assist town government, business and residents to implement sustainable policies and practices in the areas of energy, agriculture, conservation and commerce. The Committee will increase the public's awareness of important environmental issues through education and outreach. By fostering environmentally friendly practices in Hopkinton, the Committee aims to enhance the quality of life for our residents, visitors and future generations.
  4. Collective Community Commitment to Sustainability/Renewable Energy • Leadership (Town Manager/Selectmen/Mayor) • Conservation Commission • Planning Board • School Administration/Committee • Department of Public Works • Upper Charles Trail Committee • Sustainable Green Committee • Local Businesses • Residents and School-Aged Children Unified Approach
  5. Key Local Drivers for Municipal Adoption • Policy/Community Goals • Leadership – Local and State • Compelling Return on Investment • Local Stakeholders/Champions that Drive Process/Projects • Public Involvement/Communication • Identify Practical Opportunities • Remain Focused and Positive – It Takes Time! • Start Small
  6. Policy/Community Goals • Comprehensive, considerable-thought, vetted, agreement • Provides clarity on permitting requirements, zoning requirements, locations where siting is allowed/not allowed • Provides standards for the design, construction, placement and operation • Minimizes impacts to residential neighborhoods and historic, natural and scenic resources. • Ensures proposed projects are aligned with the community vision • Short-, mid-, and long-term goals provide focus which stakeholders can support, manage and implement • Vision and Mission Statements
  7. Leadership • Institutionalize and galvanize the vision and goals (from top to bottom) • Town leadership must be committed and supportive for the long- term • Involve State Reps and Senators so they can support the program both at the local and State level (funding/grant opportunities) • Local Committees and Boards (Chairs) must buy-in, be supportive and execute within their domain • Resident, grass-root leaders/champions/advocates are key to moving the process forward, communication, outreach, and recruitment
  8. Return on Investment • Municipalities are constrained financially • Renewable energy/sustainability projects must have a short-term and compelling ROI • Detailed and well-vetted financial projections improve likelihood project acceptance, if favorable • Seek grants, low-interest loans, donations/discounts, pilot- programs, internships to subsidize projects (MACEC, MassSave, Solarize MA, MAPC, etc.) • Municipalities can’t take advantage of renewable energy project tax incentives • Explore power purchase agreements with renewable contractors
  9. Local Stakeholders/Champions that Drive Process • Only so much that policy and government can achieve (high- level) • Community “boots on the ground” involvement/commitment required for success • Public communication/outreach • Long-term, focused commitment • Multi-disciplinary backgrounds/perspectives beneficial • Cross-section of the community desirable
  10. Public Involvement/Communication • Facilitate public involvement and communication on a frequent basis • Press coverage, press releases, newsletters – “get the message out” • Community surveys – Everyone is involved in the process • Meet with Town/City committees, boards, groups, interested parties • Engage the public – Hold public meetings/Attend public events. Active face-to face engagement proven more successful. • Recruit, Recruit, Recruit • Highlight successes and goals
  11. Practical Steps/Opportunities • Begin with small and manageable goals • Consider hiring an energy management consultant • Don’t reinvent the wheel – look to other municipalities’ programs to model and seek out their advice • Take advantage of State programs for education, funding and discounts (MACEC, MAPC) • New construction is more compelling for implementation of renewable energy technology • Work with Town/City leadership to formulate policy and goals • Be creative • Rome wasn’t built in a day – it takes time, effort and commitment
  12. Common Barriers • Where do we start? • Costs for Implementation/Lack of Money • Unclear/cumbersome regulatory policy/permitting requirements • Lack of Motivation/Interest • Aesthetics, Public opposition (Not in My Backyard) • Little or No Support from Local Leadership (other priorities more important) • Older buildings • Lack of land area
  13. Thank you Jeffrey Barnes Pinnacle Equity Solutions Metrowest TechSandBox