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Wendell, Whately receive Green Communities designations, grants

Whately and Wendell will share about a quarter-million dollars in state grants after being designated Green Communities.

The towns are “now two of the 110 Green Communities across the commonwealth making smart investments in renewable energy,” said Gov. Deval Patrick. “Community by community, we are protecting our environment, reducing municipal costs and making Massachusetts a clean energy leader.”

Wendell received $138,125 and Whately received $137,950, and both received a certificate from the state and four road signs identifying them as Green Communities.

The grants are part of a package of more than $1 million in funding awarded to the state’s seven newest Green Communities.

Once designated, cities and towns are eligible for awards to fund local renewable power and energy efficiency projects that advance both municipal and state clean energy goals. Grants awarded so far assist an array of projects across the state, including the installation of solar panels on town office buildings, weatherization at schools and municipal buildings, installation of high-efficiency street lights, and a host of energy efficiency upgrades.

To date, the 110 Green Communities have committed to a total energy reduction equivalent to the annual energy consumption of over 13,600 homes. In greenhouse gas reduction terms, this commitment equates to taking nearly 31,000 cars off the road.

The program is funded through auctions of carbon emissions permits under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, as well as Annual Compliance Payments made by electricity suppliers under the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.

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