The Town of Needham was one of two communities statewide recognized with a Leading by Example award at a State House Ceremony on Thursday, December 8th. Our success with Solar PV – the 3.5 MW installation at the RTS and the Solarize Needham program were front and center in earning Needham this recognition.
The Leading By Example Awards are presented by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts each year. They recognize outstanding clean energy and environmental efforts among Commonwealth agencies, public colleges/universities, municipalities and individuals. This year’s award recipients included two state agencies – the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke and MassDEP’s Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (MassEVIP); Springfield College and the UMass System in Public Higher Education, and two municipalities – Needham and Winchester.
In her remarks recognizing Needham, DoER Commissioner Judith Judson cited the 3.5 MW solar array at the RTS, generating the equivalent of 27% of the town’s electricity use and saving $500,000 each year that can be allocated to other community priorities. Commissioner Judson then highlighted the Solarize Needham program for its success extending the community’s leadership to its residents, who are now generating 900,000 kWh yearly with solar panels on their homes. Energy efficiency measures in Town buildings, water conservation programs, waste reduction, recycling & composting at the RTS; and the LEED Silver design for the new elementary school were the other areas included in Needham’s submission for the Leading by Example award.
Matt Borrelli, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, accepted the award from Commissioner Judson. Matt thanked Town management and staff for their leadership. He highlighted the incredible work done by Hank Haff, the Project Manager for the RTS solar installation, and recognized the work of the Solar Exploratory Committee on that project. Matt then thanked Green Needham and recognized Michael Greis, Chair of Green Needham, for his role in the RTS solar and Solarize Needham projects, and his leadership of energy and environmental projects throughout the Town over the last 10 years.