FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
June 4, 2007 JASON SILVA, CHIEF OF STAFF
978-745-9595, EXT. 5603
Salem Earns Solar Power
Solidifies Clean Energy Leadership Status
SALEM, MA – Today, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative formally announced their plans to give the city of Salem a $20,000 grant to purchase clean energy. Over 150 energy-conscious residents purchased 50-100% of their monthly electricity from renewable resources to guarantee Salem earning the grant. Backed by strong community support, Mayor Driscoll will use the funds to purchase a 2 kW Photovoltaic Solar Panel to be sited on a school or municipal building.
Clean Energy Choice is an incentive-based program for communities to purchase clean renewable energy. Clean energy comes from low to no impact resources like the sun, wind, water, heat in the ground, and crop and wood waste, all of which greatly reduce pollution. These resources are all renewable and either cannot be depleted or are naturally replenished when used at sustainable levels. Clean energy is also locally produced, and therefore promotes energy security AND local economic growth. Massachusetts Electric customers have the option to support clean energy for a small fee once a month.
The leadership of Mayor Driscoll’s administration in encouraging Salem residents to sign up for the Clean Energy Choice program has underscored the importance of clean energy and helped catalyze support City-wide. Through mailings in the City’s water bills to press conferences to speaking engagements, the Mayor has led by example and helped inspire broad participation.
“There is evidence of clean energy technology all over Salem,” said Mayor Kimberley Driscoll. “We drive hybrid cars. We have Big Belly solar-powered trash cans. And now, we will have solar panels on our rooftops. This is just the beginning of Salem’s clean energy future.”
“Investing in renewable energy is the best and only solution to stop global warming. This is a massive problem that needs to be addressed now, not tomorrow because the cost of inaction is far too great,” said Katy Krottinger, Campaign Organizer for Clean Water Action. “Salem’s residents have pledged, through their purchase of clean energy, to take action. Salem is one of only a few communities to participant in Clean Energy Choice and is therefore becoming a leader in climate change solutions. It is my hope that other communities in Massachusetts follow Salem’s example and start making meaningful investments in clean energy.”
“I am so proud of Salem’s dedication to the environment and clean energy,” said Pat Gozemba, Member of Salem Alliance for the Environment. “Members of both SAFE and the task force played such a pivotal role in helping to get all the sign-ups and earn the solar array. Among the movers and shakers who went door-to-door and spoke with local businesses, neighbors, and friends were Caroline and Richard Nye, Dolores Jordan, Susan Yochelson, Karen Kahn, Jeff Barz-Snell, and Cindy Keegan.”
“Our investment in clean energy today is vital to the futures of our children and grandchildren. We, the task force, made a huge push to get all 150 signups,” said Cindy Keegan, Chair of Salem’s Renewable Energy Task Force. “This is just one example of Salem’s dedication to securing a smart energy future and stopping the worst effects of climate change.”
“We are thrilled that Salem has embraced the Clean Energy Choice program and earned the PV solar panel”, said Warren Leon Director of Renewable Energy Trust. “Renewable energy projects not only improve the quality of our health and environment, but they create jobs and energy independence. These innovative technologies are the wave of the future, and Salem is one of the few communities in the Commonwealth to utilize this program.”