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State to give $50m for backup power systems, coastal protection as climate concerns grow

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Governor Deval Patrick on Tuesday will commit more than $50 million to help Massachusetts communities and utilities prepare for and protect themselves from the increasing number of destructive storms and rising sea levels blamed on climate change.

Most of the money, about $40 million, will be distributed as grants to help cities and towns install backup power systems using clean technologies, such as solar panels and advanced batteries that store the energy. Another $10 million will pay for seawalls and similar improvements along the coasts, where storm surges and rising sea levels have flooded communities, severely eroded beaches, and caused extensive property damage.

Several studies have predicted that many Boston neighborhoods could be at risk of severe flooding if nothing is done to stop the ocean’s encroachment.

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