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Phase one of $45m Renew Boston Trust initiative completed

Solar canopy at Boston Police Headquarters completes the first round of energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades across City of Boston buildings.

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The completed solar PV canopy at Boston Police Department headquarters
The completed solar PV canopy at Boston Police Department headquarters

The City of Boston has announced the completion of the first phase of a $45m investment programme in energy efficiency and renewable energy measures for municipal buildings.

 

The initial phase of the Renew Boston Trust initiative involved upgrading 14 City-owned buildings, including libraries, community centres, police and fire stations to help reduce city-emitted greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

 

Investments include efficient lighting and water fixtures, HVAC equipment replacements, building management systems to improve operations, and installation of solar panels.

 

Healthier buildings

 

Boston reports the first phase is projected to reduce municipal greenhouse gas emissions by one per cent, and grow in impact over time, which improves air quality, creates healthier buildings, and reduces carbon emissions to get the city closer to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

 

“In Boston, buildings account for nearly 70 per cent of the emissions that contribute to climate change,” said Chris Cook, chief of environment, energy, and open space, City of Boston.

 

“The Renew Boston Trust not only makes our buildings more comfortable for employees and visitors but allows us to re-invest additional savings from these energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades into resiliency measures across the city” to build stronger and healthier neighbourhoods across Boston.”

 

The $11m investment in the first phase of Renew Boston Trust was completed with the installation of carports at the Boston Police Department headquarters. On top of these carports are 707 solar modules that reduce the amount of power the building draws from the grid, produce about 242,000 kWh annually, and save $6,000 in its first year.

 

The City estimates the completed energy-conservation projects across the 14 municipal buildings will save approximately $680,000 in the first year alone.

“The Renew Boston Trust not only makes our buildings more comfortable for employees and visitors but allows us to re-invest additional savings from these energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades into resiliency measures across the city”

Mayor Walsh formally announced his plans for Renew Boston Trust with an $11m investment in the FY19 budget. The upgrades are made through an energy savings performance contract, a proven self-funded financing model that guarantees energy and cost savings.

 

The savings within the City’s operating budget from more energy efficient buildings pays for the financing of the work. With additional savings, the City plans to re-invest in resiliency measures. The next phase of Renew Boston Trust is investing nearly $20m of energy conservation measures across 31 city-owned buildings.

 

The City of Boston said this work marks its continued commitment to lead by example and implement strategies outlined in the 2019 Climate Action Plan update to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and become carbon neutral by 2050.

 

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