Baker-Polito Administration Awards $1 Million Renewable Energy Grant to Holyoke Grant Will Allow Holyoke to Expand Hydropower Generation and Reduce Energy Costs

 Baker-Polito Administration Awards $1 Million Renewable Energy Grant to Holyoke Grant Will Allow Holyoke to Expand Hydropower Generation and Reduce Energy Costs

BOSTON – March 11, 2016 – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $1 million
in grant funding to support the expansion of low-cost renewable power in the City of
Holyoke. The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has made $2 million available for
grants to municipalities with active or decommissioned coal generation facilities to
develop and implement a clean energy strategy for the municipalities’ energy use,
including the building of a renewable energy project. In addition to the City of
Holyoke, the City of Salem and the Town of Somerset are eligible for grant funds for
qualified projects.

«This grant will allow the City of Holyoke to provide its citizens with low-cost
clean energy through the expansion of a hydropower generation unit,» said Governor
Charlie Baker. «Partnering with communities to help them meet their energy needs
will help the Commonwealth to continue to lead the way on clean energy, energy
efficiency and the adoption of innovative technologies.»

«These grants allow municipalities to replace coal-generated energy with clean
energy, cutting energy costs for ratepayers while reducing greenhouse gas
emissions,» said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. «Through this program and others,
the Baker-Polito Administration is working with cities and towns across the
Commonwealth to help them achieve their clean energy goals.»

The $1 million grant will support the rehabilitation and capacity expansion of an
existing hydropower generation unit at Hadley Fall in Holyoke. The nameplate
capacity of the generator prior to the upgrade is 15 MW, and the capacity after the
unit overhaul will be 16.97 MW. Specifically, this money will fund final
construction, testing and the application into the Renewable Portfolio Standard
later this year.

«The Baker-Polito Administration is proud to help communities impacted by plant
closures and assist Holyoke in developing a clean energy strategy that will both
support the local economy and protect the environment,» said Energy and
Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. «We need the help of cities and
towns to continue Massachusetts’ leadership in energy efficiency, renewable energy
and emissions reductions.»

«This award is just one example of how we are working with communities through
grants and technical assistance to achieve the Commonwealth’s energy goals,» said
DOER Commissioner Judson. «DOER continues to work with cities and towns as we move
toward a clean, affordable and resilient energy future.»

This $2 million grant program is funded through Alternative Compliance Payments
(ACP), which are paid by electrical retail suppliers if they have insufficient
Renewable or Alternative Energy Certificates to meet their compliance obligations
under the Renewable and Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard programs.

«Investments in local energy projects, like expanding the capacity of Hadley Falls
Power Station, are critical to meeting residents’ energy needs and growing the
Commonwealth’s sustainable energy portfolio,» said State Senator Don Humason
(R-Westfield). «Thank you to the Baker Administration for supporting the City of
Holyoke’s work to increase their ability to provide low-cost, renewable energy for
city residents.»

«This grant will continue the efforts of Holyoke Gas & Electric and the city to be a
Green City, a city that keeps energy costs low for residents and businesses while
keeping environmental impacts at a minimum,» said State Representative Aaron Vega
(D-Holyoke). «I am thankful to DOER for their commitment to the city of Holyoke as
move away from fossil fueled energy to a more sustainable greener energy future.»

«I thank the Baker-Polito Administration for recognizing the significance of the
Hadley Falls Dam and continuing to support of Holyoke’s ambitions to achieve a
carbon-neutral electric supply in the coming years,» said Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse.

«Holyoke Gas & Electric (HG&E) currently maintains some of the lowest electricity
rates in the Commonwealth and over 90% of HG&E’s electricity sold at retail is
carbon free,» said HG&E General Manager Jim Lavelle. «This grant gives a significant
boost to HG&E’s efforts to expand its portfolio of low-cost, clean energy in an
environmentally friendly and sustainable manner.»

The Baker-Polito Administration has been working to stabilize and reduce the cost of
energy for residents and businesses, strengthen the clean energy economy in
Massachusetts and help meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements set
forth under the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). Through the filing of
legislation, the Administration hopes to diversify Massachusetts’ energy portfolio
and encourage the development of renewable energy resources.