The 2012 Leading by Example (LBE) Awards showcased the wide spectrum of government organizations and individuals contributing to the fulfillment of the Patrick-Murray Administration's clean energy goals. This year's nine recipients ranged from small and medium-size towns, to a regional planning authority, to a community college and UMass campus, to state agencies, to committed individuals.
The award-winning efforts underlie broad LBE accomplishments. The program has increased the installations of solar electric power (photovoltaics or "PV") at state facilities to more than 6 MW in 2012 from a mere 100 kW in 2007. Installed wind power at state sites -- now 11 MW -- has grown 18-fold from 2007 to 2012. At the same time, oil usage dropped over 9 million gallons between 2002 and 2011. The drop in electricity use at 480 state-owned buildings from installation of the Enterprise Energy Management System managed by LBE is projected to be in the five-to-fifteen percent range.
But these dramatic totals are not the result of a single state program or initiative. Rather, they represent the aggregate of individual projects, driven by impassioned people and dedicated organizations, across diverse segments of the public sector. Reductions in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions that flowed from actions taken by this year's award winners were enabled by Massachusetts' policies and initiatives, such as the Leading by Example Program. The projects that made up the reductions, however, were very much local, even those executed by large state agencies. Here is a sample of the projects from all nine 2012 award winners:
State Agencies: The Massachusetts Department of Correction installed two commercial wind turbines, totaling 3.3 MW capacity at its Gardner facility. A community swimming pool rehab project in Waltham opened by the Department of Conservation and Recreation incorporates solar PV for electricity and solar thermal for hot water, and is expected to supply nearly all of its own energy needs (zero-net energy).
Municipal: The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission procured services for its fifteen member communities to pursue the development of PV on closed landfills. Scituate’s 1.5 MW wind turbine is expected to generate about 50 percent of the town’s electrical needs for 15 years, while Sutton used ARRA funding to install a 201 kW solar PV system on its Early Learning Center, projected to save the town $25,340 a year.
Individuals: Betty Ann Learned led Massasoit Community College to implement a comprehensive energy and water conservation project that will save around $12 million over 20 years with a 40 percent reduction in annual energy use. In Sudbury, Jim Kelly oversaw the installation of solar thermal and solar PV systems on the town community center and managed a streetlight conversion project that will save an estimated $21,000 a year.
The Leading by Example award winners demonstrate the impact that a "think globally, act locally" clean energy mind-set can have on achieving Massachusetts' clean energy goals.