$162K grant to support clean energy projects in Northfield

  • The sun sets behind Northfield Elementary School on Main Street. The bulk of a Green Communities grant that the town received will be used to upgrade the ventilation system and related controls at the school. Staff File Photo/Shelby Ashline

Staff Writer
Published: 9/28/2020 1:43:02 PM

NORTHFIELD — A $162,303 grant from the state Department of Energy Resources’ Green Communities Division will fund multiple projects proposed by the Northfield Energy Committee.

Susan O’Connor, chair of the Energy Committee, explained the bulk of the grant — $140,503 — will be used to upgrade the ventilation system and related controls at Northfield Elementary School.

“These improvements will support not only energy efficiency and carbon reduction, but also improve air quality in the school, which is a timely strategy for making the school safer as we learn more about airborne diseases,” O’Connor said in a prepared statement.

From the total, $11,800 of the funding will support installing an air source heat pump at Dickinson Memorial Library that will reduce the need to use the full heating system during hours when only staff members are in the building. In addition, a $5,000 subsidy is included to assist the Police Department with the purchase of its first hybrid vehicle to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

The final $5,000, according to Town Administrator Andrea Llamas, will support paying an outside contractor to oversee the projects.

Altogether, O’Connor noted, the improvements funded by the grant will reduce energy use by an estimated 18,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, 5,000 gallons of oil and 500 gallons of gasoline annually, netting savings of more than $6,000 per year.

“This new grant will help the town continue to build on its efforts to reduce energy consumption and move to cleaner energy,” O’Connor said, adding that this is the third Green Communities grant Northfield has received. “Each grant has supported interconnected approaches to make town buildings more energy efficient.”

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.


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