Thursday, October 27, 2011

MWCC Receives Massachusetts Leading by Example Award

Mount Wachusett Community College has been recognized by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s Leading by Example Program as the state entity that has made the greatest reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The college was presented with a Leading by Example Award from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs during its annual ceremony Oct. 26 at the Statehouse honoring state agencies, public higher education institutions, municipalities, and individuals that demonstrate outstanding clean energy and environmental leadership.

MWCC was recognized for a 48 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from a 2002 to 2004 baseline, the greatest reduction of any state college, university or agency. Thanks to an array of projects, including investments in biomass, a 100- kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) installation, solar hot water systems, and the recent installation of two 1.65 megawatt wind turbines on its campus, MWCC is expecting clean energy to generate 97 percent of the college's annual electricity demand.

“We are extremely proud and honored to receive this Leading by Example award for the groundbreaking work that has been underway at Mount Wachusett Community College for more than a decade, including the recent installation of two wind turbines,” said MWCC President Daniel M. Asquino, who accepted the award on behalf of the college with Executive Vice President Emeritus Edward R. Terceiro, Jr.

“Our hope is that our energy initiatives will serve as a model for other institutions in the Commonwealth and across the nation, as we strive to reduce our reliance on foreign fuel and protect the environment through a combination of ingenuity and commitment to future generations," President Asquino said.

Last week, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) named Massachusetts number one in ACEEE's annual state-by-state energy efficiency scorecard. Massachusetts topped California in the ranking for the first time with ACEEE noting the Patrick-Murray Administration's clean energy agenda, which includes the Green Communities Act of 2008 and innovative energy efficiency programs like Leading by Example.

“Thanks to Governor Patrick's national leadership on energy efficiency and renewable energy policies, we're making tremendous headway in pursuit of our clean energy future, with state and local governments setting the pace," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.

This year's Leading by Example award winners "have taken steps that will continue to yield long-term environmental and economic dividends for years to come," Secretary Sullivan said.

Leading by Example was established by an April 2007 Executive Order in which Governor Patrick directed agencies of state government to improve energy efficiency, promote clean energy technology, and reduce their environmental impacts. The Executive Order calls on state government to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent, reduce energy consumption at state-owned and leased facilities 20 percent, and procure 15 percent of energy from renewable sources by June 2012. In addition, it established the Mass LEED-Plus building standard for new state construction, which requires energy performance to be 20 percent better than code.
Leading by Example efforts have resulted in significant accomplishments in recent years, including an increase in the amount of installed solar PV at state facilities from 100 kW in 2007 to more than 4 MW in 2011 and an increase in the amount of installed wind at state facilities from 660 kW in 2007 to over 8 MW in 2011. This year's awards recognize an array of clean and energy efficient initiatives including heating system replacement, energy efficient building renovations, aggressive recycling, innovative LED street lighting installations, and renewable energy system installations.

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