News & Updates

Galvin Electricity Initiative Sparks Sustainable District Energy Talk in BMIP

Mar 01, 2011

District heating.  A municipally supported energy aggregation buying group.  On-site, business community owned renewable energy production.  Smart Grid ready buildings.  High performance energy standards and assistance for tenant fit outs.  Green leases.  A lower carbon, more competitive Boston Marine Industrial Park (BMIP). These were some of the ideas that a range of 35-40 stakeholders including business leaders, government and quasi-governmental representatives, utilities, energy distributors, cleantech CEOs, policy makers, and energy experts discussed and debated at a sprited workshop today led by John Kelly and the Galvin Electricity Initiative to explore district scale sustainable energy solutions in the BMIP, which anchors Boston’s Innovation District. Achieving these goals will require innovative finance tools and approaches, greater transparency among stakeholders, and public private partnerships, but BRA Director John Palmieri, who attended the workshop offered his strong support for exploring a range of energy strategies that will help all BMIP tenants reduce their energy costs, move the Park toward a lower carbon energy supply, while growing the cleantech cluster there. This visioning workshop was just the first step.  We look forward to on-going productive engagement with business owners, our utility partners, NSTAR and National Grid, Massport, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Veolia, and others.  If we are successful, the sustainable district energy vision in the Park could serve as a prototype which we could eventually scale to the broader Innovation District, joining a handful of sustainable energy district scale efforts under development around the globe. Beyond tackling energy consumption in existing buildings, experts familiar with the Park speculated that new development could double energy demand in the Park over the next 10 to 20 years.  At the same time, rising sea levels and energy costs demand that public and private sector forces join hands to identify innovative solutions to tackle these new energy, climate change, and economic development challenges.  The Park’s growing cleantech cluster, anchored by renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, cleantech R&D facilities, and sustainable design firms, can play a powerful role by injecting innovative techologies, new service and business models into the mix, supported by City leaders who are eager to promote cleantech prototyping and beta testing site locations for our cleantech cluster.

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