(George Rizer/Globe Staff)
By Globe Staff
A $550,000 initiative to increase Boston’s solar energy output fiftyfold by 2015 was unveiled today by top city and federal officials at Fenway Park, where a solar heating system will be installed in May.
The effort -- funded by a mix of city, state, and federal money -- will include mapping the city to identify ideal rooftops for photovoltaic panels. Dubbed “Solar Boston,” the initiative will also work to market and obtain solar energy systems across the city.
“I congratulate the City of Boston and its partners for their efforts to truly integrate solar energy into their planning processes and into the daily life of the people who live and work in the city,” said US Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman, who joined Mayor Thomas Menino at the announcement. “Together we can make clean, abundant, and affordable solar energy the norm, and no longer an ‘alternative’ source of energy.”
At Fenway Park the solar panels that will be installed in May will heat 37 percent of the hot water needed at the stadium, reducing the annual carbon dioxide emissions by roughly 18 tons, according to National Grid.
“We are as committed to making Fenway Park an innovator in sustainable energy as we are to preserving its history, beauty, and integrity,” said Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner in a statement.
The program will be supported by $150,000 from the Department of Energy, a grant that was matched by the city. The federal government will also provide an additional $250,000 in technical assistance over two years.
By the end of 2009, the city plans to install over $1 million worth of solar energy projects on municipal buildings, including Brighton High School, the Strand Theater, the Tobin Community Center, and the West Roxbury Branch Library. Menino’s administration is also exploring other ways to pay for solar panels on city buildings.
This blogger might want to review your comment before posting it.
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more