The city of Boston intends to use federal grants to boost energy efficiency for nearly 4,000 homes and small businesses and is proposing to build a wind turbine on Moon Island in Boston Harbor that could power as many as 800 homes, city officials said today.
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino is slated to announce that the city’s Office of Environmental and Energy Services has awarded $2.8 million in federal stimulus money for programs that will retrofit nearly 3,100 homes and 800 small businesses with energy-efficient technologies.
He also plans to unveil a proposal to develop a 1.65-megawatt wind turbine on the island, a property owned by Boston that’s within the municipal boundaries of Quincy. The 400-foot-high turbine would be at least 1 mile from the nearest home in Quincy, and it would power homes in both Boston and Quincy, city officials said.
The turbine would have to be approved by Quincy’s Planning Board. The two cities will be hosting a community meeting on May 24 at the Kennedy Senior Center in Quincy to present the plan.
"This is a unique proposal and we believe it holds tremendous potential to make Boston and Quincy leaders in clean energy for the entire Commonwealth," Quincy Mayor Thomas P. Koch said in a statement. "We are looking forward to sharing this proposal with the public, but I wish to stress that today's announcement is just a first step and that both Mayor Menino and I are fully committed to an extensive public process."
The plans are part of a larger effort by the city to cut greenhouse gas emissions and thus reduce the city's contribution to global climate change.
Hoping to further that effort, environmental groups today sent Menino a list of recommendations, including a goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent in 2020.
“I am committed to moving this ambitious agenda forward, as we work with our residents and businesses to realize the full benefits of a low-carbon city and ensure that our city remains a vibrant one for future generations,” Menino said in a statement.
In a report to the mayor, the Boston Climate Action Leadership Committee and the Community Advisory Committee also urged the city to start incorporating the projected effects of climate change – such as sea-level rise, heat waves, and more intense storms -- in the planning and review process for municipal and private development projects.
“As a coastal Northeastern city, climate change will have a profound impact on the future of our community,” said Mindy Lubber, president of CERES, a Boston-based environmental group, who co-chaired one of the committees that produced the report. “While Boston alone cannot solve the climate challenge, this plan sets a clear path for developing a cleaner, greener, and more prosperous 21st-century urban model.”
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