- Community Development
- Clean Energy and Resilience
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 a little over 70% of its municipal electricity demand with renewables from two local wind turbines at Blackburn Business Park (data pertains to the period of FY 2022) and has invested over 1 million dollars into energy efficiency updates at municipal facilities since 2010.
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 and spearheaded the creation of a comprehensive 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 to create the city's first Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP). The plan identifies the highest priority challenges and the most feasible solutions to put Gloucester on track to meet long-term energy, climate and resiliency goals. This plan sets the road map for Gloucester's future climate actions. Several other city planning initiatives and studies also provide guidance and technical insight in planning for a more resilient, clean energy future, including
- 2023 Harbor Plan (Ongoing)
- 2021 Open Space and Recreation Plan
- 2019 Watershed and Water Supply Venerability and Management Strategy
- 2018 Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Planning
- 2015 Coastal Climate Change and Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan
Stay engaged with Gloucester's Community Development and Planning work by following Innovate Gloucester's Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.
Take the Gloucester Energy Challenge
The City is partnering with the Sponsors of Mass Save® and HomeWorks Energy to address one of the largest sources of emissions in the City – our homes. Be part of the Gloucester Energy Challenge schedule your no-cost home energy assessment at www.homeworksenergy.com/gloucester or call (781) 305-3319.
Building with 5+ Units & Small Businesses: Are you looking to get an energy assessment for your rental property or small business? Fill out the form at masssave.com/Gloucester, or call (351) 529-6372 for voice prompts, to request a call back from a MassSave Program Administrator.
Low-Income, Discount Utility Rate or Fuel Assistance: If you qualify as low-income, you could receive additional benefits through Action Inc. Fill out the form at actionincenergy.org, or call (978) 283-2131 to participate.
Climate Smart Zoning
The City of Gloucester has been working collaboratively with the Town of Winthrop and MAPC to workshop, and learn from one another, regarding the implementation of climate-smart zoning tools. The goal of this informal relationship is to identify options for integrating climate resilience and mitigation into local zoning codes, policies, and processes in a way that is adapted to the specific community needs of our coastal City.
Community Electricity Aggregation Program
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, provides residents and businesses in Gloucester with more stable electricity rates, competitive pricing, and renewable energy options. Please, note 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 (PPA) 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. On average, revenues to the City from Municipal Wind at Blackburn have been $300,000 per year (based on revenues data between FY14 and FY21) and generation from the project currently offsets a little over 70% of all municipal electricity demand (data pertains to the period of FY 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.
In 2016 the City of Gloucester converted its streetlights to LEDs. Approximately 2,800 lights were replaced thereby saving 2/3 of the energy consumed prior to the installation. This measure has reduced harmful glare while also lighting the areas that need actually need lighting rather than the sky!
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/