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EPA lauds town for ‘green power’

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Wellesley has been designated a Green Power Community for the second year in a row by the US Environmental Protection Agency , in recognition of its use of renewable energy generated from wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydropower sources. Wellesley is among about 50 municipalities nationwide, and the only one in Massachusetts, cited by the EPA this year. To earn the designation, communities must have at least 3 percent of power use drawn from renewable sources. Wellesley’s figure is just under 5 percent, partly because of its Power to Choose campaign, which encourages residents and commercial customers to pay a premium to purchase all or part of their electricity from renewable sources. The town has the third highest participation rate — 11 percent — in the country, officials said. The Board of Selectmen has committed the town to reach the 5 percent mark through the Power to Choose program, and 26 local businesses have chosen to power their offices with renewable energy. Wellesley College, Babson College, and Massachusetts Bay Community College have also partnered to use renewable sources, as has Sun Life Financial, a major energy consumer in town, officials said. Most of the renewable energy comes from the Spruce Mountain Wind Project in Maine, officials said. Residents and businesses can sign up for renewable energy at www.wellesleyrenewableenergy.com or can call 781-235-7600, ext. 3366, for more information. To find out more about the Green Power Community designation, visit the EPA’s website, www.epa.gov/greenpower.

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