$115,000 ‘green’ grant honors Holyoke efforts to see light

$115,000 ‘green’ grant honors Holyoke efforts to see light

Mike Plaisance

MassLive

HOLYOKE — Municipal facilities will get improved lighting thanks to a $115,895 “Green Communities” grant from the state.

“This work is exciting because it will continue our commitment to remaining a national leader in using the green economy to combat climate change and to improve our city’s quality of life while giving taxpayers a good return on their investment,” Mayor Alex B. Morse said in a press release Wednesday.

The grant came from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and was announced Tuesday by state Sen. Donald R. Humason, R-Westfield, who called Holyoke a “leader” in the state’s clean energy goals.

“Congratulations to the city of Holyoke for receiving this competitive grant which will support their continued work to reduce the City’s energy consumption year after year,” Humason said in an email.

Improved lighting will be installed at Holyoke City Hall at High and Dwight streets, the Holyoke Gas and Electric Department’s (HGE) Jackson Street garage, HGE’s Walnut Street garage, HGE’s main office at 99 Suffolk St., the Hadley Falls Station, which is on the Holyoke side of the hydroelectric dam on the Connecticut River, Dean Technical High School at 1045 Main St. and other schools and Fire Station 6 at 640 Homestead Ave., the press release from the mayor’s office said.

The installations will save taxpayers money, Morse said. Holyoke and Amherst were the only two communities in Western Massachusetts to receive shares in this round of “Green Communities” grants, the press release said.

Older lighting will be replaced with LEDs. That stands for light-emitting diodes, which produce light more efficiently than other kinds of lighting and can be more expensive but also last eight times longer than regular fluorescent lights.

Specifically, the press release said:

  • Holyoke City Hall will get new exterior floodlights.
  • HGE’s Jackson Street garage will get 42 interior light fixtures replaced.
  • HGE’s Walnut Street garage will get 18 interior light fixtures replaced.
  • Hadley Falls Station will get improved outdoor lighting to improve safety, save power and improve aesthetics at the dam.
  • HGE’s main office lobby will get 18 new lights.
  • Dean Tech will get ugraded parking lot lighting.
  • A hundred exterior wall lights will be replaced at other public schools.
  • Fire Station 6 will get eight new interior lights.
    Humason also thanked Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito for helping the “Green Communities” effort.

To receive such grants and be considered part of the “Green Communities” program, cities and towns must, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs:

  • Commit to designating locations for renewable or alternative energy generation, research or development.
  • Adopt an expedited permit process for such facilities.
  • Establish a plan to cut energy use by 20 percent with in five years.
  • Buy only fuel-efficient vehicles.
  • Set requirements to minimize energy costs for new construction