Clean Energy and Resilience Planning
The City of Gloucester is committed to environmental stewardship through the promotion of clean, renewable energy sources, energy conservation, and resiliency. Gloucester has been recognized as a regional Climate Leader and was one of the first communities in the state to achieve Green Communities Designation. At that time the City adopted the State's Stretch energy code and implement a Fuel Efficient Vehicle Policy. Gloucester currently offsets approximately 85% of its municipal electricity demand with renewables from two local wind turbines at Blackburn Business Park (data updated as of May 2022) and has invested over 1 million dollars into energy efficiency updates at municipal facilities.
The City established the Clean Energy Commission (CEC) in 2009 to promote clean energy options in the wider community. The CEC was instrumental in creating a Community Aggregation program, which provides residents and businesses in Gloucester with more renewable energy options. The CEC further spearheaded several campaigns over the years to promote Mass Save utility incentives that offer residents free or reduced cost energy efficiency home updates.
The City has undertaken several planning efforts to support climate stewardship and adaption including,
- 2015 Coastal Climate Change and Vulnerability Assessment and Adaption Plan
- 2018 Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Planning
- 2019 Watershed and Water Supply Venerability and Management Strategy
- 2022 Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP)
In September of 2021, the City of Gloucester was awarded $69,890 through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Action Grant Program. Funding will go towards the creation of a Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP), in collaboration with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and the City's Clean Energy Commission (CEC). The plan will help the community to identify the highest priority challenges and the most feasible solutions to put Gloucester on track to meet long-term energy, climate and resiliency goals.
Learn more about how residents of Gloucester can take climate action on the Take Climate Action Today page. Stay engaged with Gloucester's Community Development and Planning work by following Innovate Gloucester's Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages
Gloucester Energy Challenge
The City of Gloucester has participated in several state-wide initiatives to promote Mass Save utility incentives including in 2018, 2019, and 2022. Residents interested in participating in the current Gloucester Energy Challenge should visit the City's Take Climate Action Today page to find out about a no-cost home energy assessment, and other incentives and rebates.
On April 26, 2016 The City Council voted to authorize the Mayor to investigate and establish the City's Community Electricity Aggregation program. In operation since December 2018, the program, called Gloucester Community Electricity Aggregation or Gloucester CEA for short, provides residents and businesses in Gloucester with more renewable energy options, stable electricity rates and competitive pricing. Future savings cannot be guaranteed because future National Grid rates are unknown. Visit the program website, gloucester-cea.com, for program details, electricity rates, program documents, including the program plan and contact information for the electricity supplier.
Municipal Wind at Blackburn (A Public-Private Partnership)
Through the summer and into the winter of 2011 the city evaluated and permitted a two turbine 4MW renewable energy project proposed by Equity Industrial Partners LLC to be located on the site home to Gloucester Engineering at 11 Dory Road in the Blackburn Business Park. After permitting the project, the city successfully negotiated a Power Purchase Agreement. with the future operator of the project Equity Industrial Turbines LLC. Under the agreement a substantial portion of the city’s electric will be purchased from this renewable energy project at a discounted rate. The project was commissioned and began generating energy in late December 2012. The two turbines currently offset approximately 85% of Gloucester's municipal electricity demand (data updated as of May 2022).
- Gloucester Daily Times Report on Turbine Performance, May 25, 2015.
- Installation Photos - November 2012
- Installations Video Available at the Sawyer Free Library
Little River Restoration Project
Including nature-based solutions in mitigating the future impacts of Climate Change is a high priority for the City of Gloucester. A key success in this area was the Little River Restorations and Flood Mitigation project, which involved day-lighting portions of buried waterway, replacing an aging concrete channel with a natural stream bed, and restoring sensitive coastal wetlands. The restoration effort has already dramatically improved ecological conditions, eliminated a public safety hazard, reduced flooding risks, and enhanced climate change resiliency in the small coastal stream that flows from Lily Pond to the Annisquam River.
Gloucester was one of the first communities in the state to achieve Green Communities Designation in 2010. The City adopted progressive guidelines and standards in order to become a Green Community, including an Energy Reduction Plan, Fuel Efficient Energy Policy, and Stretch Energy Code.By becoming a Green Community, Gloucester has been awarded grants that help fund various energy conservation projects. To date, the City has invested over 1 million dollars into energy efficiency updates at municipal facilities, including lighting upgrades at several municipal facilities, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system upgrades, and a citywide Light Emitting Diode (LED) streetlight retrofit.
The Green Communities Program is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. More information can be found by visiting Mass.gov.
Gloucester is ranked Silver as a SolSmart community. Find out more at, solsmart.org/communities/gloucester/
The City of Gloucester' City Council has adopted PACE. Find out about financing options for your business here: https://www.massdevelopment.com/what-we-offer/key-initiatives/pace/