$16.25 million awarded for energy projects
Eleven local projects will share $16.25 million in federal stimulus funding to demonstrate how buildings can save energy in innovative ways, state officials said, creating nearly 500 jobs in the process.
The projects -- which will include the Castle Square Tenant's Organization in Boston, Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, and Lawrence CommunityWorks, a community-based development group -- are part of the state's "High Performance Buildings" initiative and are expected to begin between now and June.
State officials chose from among 114 proposals. Winning projects were picked for their ability to create jobs, leverage cost sharing, and improve energy efficiency on a large scale.
"Buildings are some of the largest consumers of electricity and have significant greenhouse gas implications," said Ian Bowles, secretary of the state's Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
Some projects pledge to reduce annual energy use by 50 percent, while others plan to make use of new energy-saving technologies, like pellet stoves.
Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, for instance, is teaming up with Nexamp Inc. to retrofit the hotel with a geothermal heating and cooling system. It was awarded $1.4 million to do that work and make other improvements.
The Castle Square Tenant's Organization in Boston will receive $4.4 million to retrofit a 192-unit building in the low-income apartment complex so that it has better insulated walls, high-efficiency windows, lighting and appliances, and other energy-saving improvements.
Phil Giudice, head of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, said the projects will act as a "turbo charger" for energy-efficiency efforts the state already has in place.