A recent census reported that the Massachusetts renewable energy cluster supports 14,400 jobs within 556 entities. Soon, Green energy will replace textiles as the state's tenth largest industry at a projected growth rate of 20% per year, three times that of any other industry.
Massachusetts is currently ranked within the top 10 states for research excellence and talent generation related to renewable energy technology.* Western Massachusetts can be a particularly efficient place to locate a renewable energy business because wage rates and real estate costs are lower than other major Northeast metros.
On July 2, 2008, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed the Green Communities Act of 2007 into law. This landmark energy legislation is a comprehensive, multi-faceted energy reform bill that encourages energy and building efficiency, promotes renewable energy, creates green communities, implements elements of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), and provides market incentives and funding for various types of energy generation.
Companies considering an expansion should consider our workforce laden with precision machining expertise, the high concentration of graduates from universities with renewable energy innovations ready for commercialization and a cache of state incentives.
Wind- Our natural wind resources include 3.5 % of available, developable land with sufficient average wind speeds for futility-scale turbines. In 2007, a 1.5 MW GE wind turbine made the region's Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort the nation's first ski resort to generate its own power. The UMASS Renewable Energy Research Laboratory focuses on wind power, conducting R & D in resource assessment, project citing and performance, and turbine Dynamics and control. This establishment was recently presented with an academic achievement award from the American Wind Energy Association.
Solar- One of the state's largest electric systems generates 36,000 annual kilowatt-hours of electricity for Springfield's Technology Park. This sector also recently received a state commitment to increase installed solar power from 2 MW to 250 MW in a decade.
Biofuel- A University of Massachusetts professor is working with SunEthanol Inc. to develop her 2007 Biofuel breakthrough, the Q Microbe, a local discovery and the current forefront of cellulosic ethanol technology. This development will help Massachusetts reach its 2010 mandate requiring all home heating oil and diesel fuel to contain biofuel.
From the State House where proactive environmental legislation and incentives are a top priority, to the cities retrofitting school buses with Diesel Oxidization Catalysts, to the thousands of grassroots groups organized for education, awareness and action- life in Western Massachusetts gets greener every day.
*Battelle/MassInsight, "Choosing to Lead: The Race for National R&D Leadership & New Economy Jobs."
Western Massachusetts Companies*
Alyra Renewable Energy Finance, LLC provides financial advisory services exclusively to the renewable energy sector including leading renewable energy companies in North America and Europe, institutional investors, national renewable energy research laboratories and Federal and state energy agencies.
Co-op Power is a consumer-owned energy cooperative serving New York and New England that works with communities across the region to build community-owned sustainable energy resources through the sale of affordable clean energy products and services.
FloDesign is a contract engineering corporation built around the application of aerospace technology to new product development. Recognized for their expertise in jet engine exhaust suppressors, mixer/ejectors, acoustics, mechatronics, and plant automation, this business offers its own product line as well as product design and patent protection.
Stiebel Eltron is the largest manufacturer of water heaters in Germany with a primary focus in the development of products that use less energy including solar collectors and storage tanks. This company maintains a North American sales and service operation in Western Massachusetts.
Donald Campbell Associates is a company focused on solar energy development in solar photovoltaics (electricity) and solar domestic hot water. Services include connecting clients to resources, grants, technicians and engineers in order to develop solar renewable energy programs with financial and technical ease.
Village Power Design Associates has provided professional design consulting and turnkey installation of solar electric and energy efficient appliances for residential and commercial properties, using the latest design and installation methods, for more than 25 years.
Applied Proactive Technologies (APT) specializes in promoting energy efficiency by creating market-driven shifts in behavior that result in the use of more energy-efficient products. This company provides utility companies with program development, implementation and tracking, as well as database design and management, program evaluation, and environmental training and education.
RGS Energy is one of the nation's pioneering solar energy companies serving commercial, residential, and utility customers. Beginning with one of the very first photovoltaic panels sold to the public in the U.S. in 1978, the company has installed more than 19,000 solar power systems representing well over 170 megawatts of 100% clean renewable energy. RGS Energy makes it very convenient for customers to save on their energy bill by providing a comprehensive solar solution, from design, financing, permitting and installation to ongoing monitoring, maintenance and support. As one of the nation's largest and most experienced solar power players, the company has 17 offices across the West and the Northeast. For more information, visit RGSEnergy.com, Facebook at www.facebook.com/rgsenergy and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/rgsenergy. RGS Energy is a trade name and RGS Energy makes filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission under its official name "Real Goods Solar, Inc."
*This list represents a sampling of the region's clean energy companies
The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association the nation's leading regional membership organization focused on promoting the understanding, development, and adoption of energy conservation and non-polluting, renewable energy technologies.
University of Massachusetts Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (CEERE) provides technological and economic solutions to environmental problems resulting from energy production, industrial, manufacturing, and commercial activities, and land use practices.
Solar Business Association of New England (SEBANE) is a business association of solar energy companies based, or doing business, in New England. SEBANE members include many of the finest solar energy companies in the world.
Greenfield Community College now offers courses and programs based in specific renewable energy technologies and "green" workforce development. In collaboration with the Division of Community Education, these courses provide education and training in photovoltaic (solar electric) technology, solar domestic hot water, passive solar technology, and energy conservation and efficiency. Workshops for community members, home and business owners are also offered.