Gov. Charlie Baker announces nearly $8.3 million in Green Communities Competitive Grants during a visit to Lawrence on April 13. (Photo courtesy Joshua Qualls/Governor’s Press Office)

During an event yesterday in Lawrence, the administration awarded $8.3 million in Green Communities competitive grants to 64 municipalities.

The competitive grants support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the designated communities’ clean energy goals. The grants are awarded to Green Communities that have successfully invested their initial designation grants and previous competitive grant awards.

According to the Department of Energy Resources, the grants will help to fund a range of projects, from ventilation system upgrades to the installation of insulation and energy management systems at municipal buildings and facilities. Projects also include installations of air-source heat pumps, hybrid police cruisers, and electric vehicle charging stations. (Click here for details of the project awards.)

Once completed, the grant-supported projects are estimated to yield energy savings comparable to the amount of energy consumed by 339 Massachusetts households, according to the DOER. In greenhouse gas emissions terms, the projects are estimated to reduce emissions by the equivalent to taking nearly 700 cars off the road.

“The innovative and cost-effective projects receiving grants will increase energy efficiency and clean energy use in municipal buildings and vehicles across the Commonwealth, significantly helping our state achieve its long-term emissions reduction requirements,” Gov. Charlie Baker said at the press event, where he was joined by Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides and Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Patrick Woodcock.

Theoharides said the local projects will “reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and lower municipal energy costs.” Achieving long-term climate goals in Massachusetts “will not be possible without collaboration and partnerships at all levels of government,” she said.

To receive funding, cities and towns must earn the Green Communities designation by meeting five criteria defined by the Green Communities Act. According to the DOER, the current roster of 280 Green Communities account for 87% of the state’s population.

Since 2010, the DOER has awarded $153 million in designation grants and competitive grants to Green Communities. The grants are funded through proceeds from carbon allowance auctions under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

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