The Portal to the Future is back again this year at the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival. Along with the Renewable Energy and Local Living Workshops (see http://northquabbinenergy.org/?page_id=2269) , there will be activities focusing on the theme of “What’s the Deal with the New Green?” Read about the Green New Deal and watch a short video.
In light of the 3.4% rise in emissions in the United States in 2018, we all need to act in 2019. This means small personal actions and lobbying for large policy changes at the all levels of government. Below is one link from YES! Magazine that might help us activate ourselves and others in the face of crisis.
Think of new small things that an individual can do. See the ideas from YES! Magazine —
2019-2020 Legislative Priorities
2019-2020 Legislative Priorities
Clean, Local, & Healthy Energy for Massachusetts
MPF is a grassroots network of over 160 organizations
We live in a stark climate reality that threatens us with unprecedented weather events like flooding and droughts. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change latest report indicates we have only 12 years to drastically upgrade our energy policies if we wish to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Many of our communities, especially those with a majority of people of color and low incomes, have had to bear the brunt of decades of fossil fuel pollution and are most at risk from climate change. We call upon you to prevent unnecessary pollution-related illness and death in these communities and to endorse just solutions to fixing our dirty energy system.
NOW is the time for bold, decisive action from our state legislature!
Outcomes we prioritize:
- Environmental Justice – Include communities impacted by climate change and fossil fuel pollution as participants in crafting new, equitable policy
- 100% Renewables – Set an ambitious goal to equitably reach 100% renewable electricity by 2035 and 100% renewable energy for heating and transportation by 2045
- Green Infrastructure Investment – Use mechanisms such as equitable carbon pricing or the transportation climate initiative to invest today to create the future we want
We urge legislators to call for energy policy that leads by example to stop fossil fuel subsidies, support local renewable energy resources, keep energy dollars in our communities, create good green jobs and protect our Commonwealth from climate change and life‐threatening pollution.
NOW is the time for bold, decisive action from our state legislature! The first Lobby Date at the MA Statehouse is January 24, 2019. See Mass Power Forward on Facebook.
It is September and time for the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival http://www.garlicandarts.org — Sept. 29-30, 2018. Join us in the Portal to Future for energy talks, activities, food and special activities brought to you by North Quabbin Energy and Quabbin Harvest Food Co-op. Plan to attend one of the Renewable Ener gy and Local Living Workshops —2018 Garlic & Arts RE-LL Talks Poster.
Sterling, MA — Battery Energy Storage with Solar at a Municipal Light Company
On a recent sunny Saturday, Pat Larson and Janice Kurkoski traveled to Sterling Mass to attend a tour, organized by the Mass Climate Action Network (MCAN), of the grid-tied battery storage project at the Sterling Municipal Light Department’s substation. Installed in 2016, it is the first utility-scale battery storage project in New England, The $2.5 million project was built with a $1.46 million grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The project is estimated to pay for itself in 2 years, (or in 6 years if no grants were included). In addition to its backup function for the local police station, Sterling Municipal uses the batteries to shave peak load and reduce the amount of expensive power it has to buy from the ISO New England during times of high demand. Last year alone, the project saved the utility $400,000. The utility can then pass these savings onto their customers in the form of lower rates, which are around 30% lower than what neighboring National Grid customers pay.
Even more exciting is the fact that the battery storage is coupled with a large Sterling Municipal-owned solar project just up the road, which allows them to charge the batteries during the day with power from their solar panels, then return the power from the batteries to their grid into the evening after the sun fades. Across the street from the substation, another large roof-top PV array is about to go on line. The latter is a Power Purchase Agreement with Origis Energy USA, and is dubbed the “Sterling Community Solar & Energy Storage” project.
Did you miss the films about Carbon Sequestration and Finding Ways to Restore Soil and Reduce Climate Change?
You can find the films and more information on YouTube. For “4 Per 1000 -Soils for Food Security and Climate” see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY9YVwJZDvw
For “Soil Solutions to Climate Problems” See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxqBzrx9yIE.
For “Soil Carbon Cowboys” see https://www.soilcarboncowboys.com/ and for “Put Carbon Back Where It Belongs” see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3rhjqzVrRc. You can also find other films on this topic on YouTube.
Can Soil Carbon seeRestoration in Farming Reduce Climate Change? Watch several very short films and hear from local farmers talk about practices on their land that works to put carbon back into the soil. Attend the final Reverence, Resistance, Resilience Film Series on Thurs., April 12th at 6 p.m. at the Athol Public Library. Panelists will include: Ricky Baruc (https://seedsofsolidarity.org), Ridge Shinn (https://www.bigpicturebeef.com), Caro Roszell of Wendell, Sharon Gensler (NOFA-Outreach) and Julie Rawson (http://mhof.net)
On the NOFA/Mass website you will find more about the issue of soil carbon restoration including a short video, the NOFA White Paper on “Soil Carbon Restoration” and other resources. Go to NOFA/Mass website – https://www.nofamass.org/carbon.
Renewable Energy Activities at Mahar
All eighth grade students at Mahar Regional School participated in a renewable energy workshop recently. North Quabbin Energy members worked with Susan Reyes along with science teachers Victoria Flood and Jennifer Scotland to help enthusiastic teams of students experiment with wind energy.
Susan Reyes, a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) educator from Shutesbury, led the workshop and asked eighth grade science students, in teams of four, to build small wind turbines. Each team had to decide how to build the small wind turbine and then test it with 1,2,3,4 and 6 blades. Once student teams built their wind turbines, they placed them in front of household fans to substitute for the real wind. Students recorded their outputs with multi-meters attached to the wind turbines to see how quickly the blade moved. This project was organized by members of North Quabbin Energy and supported with a grant from the NQ Garlic and Arts Festival Community Grant Program.
Reverence, Resistance and Resilience Film Series Continues on March 15, 2018
Thursday March 15, 2018, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM Athol Public Library, 568 Main Street, Athol (Large Program Room)
The Economics of Happiness (20 minutes) and
Joanna Macy and the Great Turning (26 minutes).
Free and Open to the Public. Light refreshments, courtesy of the Friends of the Athol Public Library. Discussion to follow with Anna Gyorgy from the Wendell Energy Committee moderating. As seating is limited, call 978-249-9515 to reserve a place.
Town Energy Committees Continue Work on Energy Reduction Projects
In 2008-2009 North Quabbin Energy began work to help citizens organize energy committees in towns of the region. As 2017 came to a close, all the towns North Quabbin Energy worked with over the course of almost ten years have received Green Communities Designation from the MA Department of Energy Resources. The latest towns to receive this designation include Orange and Royalston.
Orange — The town will receive a designation grant of $159,830 to work on energy efficiency in town buildings to save on both heating and electricity costs.
Royalston — The town will receive a designation grant of $129,365 to work on energy reduction projects in town buildings.
Other towns in the region who already have Green Communities designation include: Athol (2010), New Salem (2010), Petersham (2012), Wendell (2012), Warwick (2014), Erving (2016-17).
Work of Town Energy Committees and North Quabbin Energy continues in 2018 with several events….
Friday, February 2, 2018 — Wendell. The Wendell Town Energy Committee will sponsor their 2nd Annual Ground Hog Day Energy Event from 6-8:30 at the Wendell Town Hall. Pot-luck supper with a chance to hear reports and updates on the Wendell Community Solar Coop, Green Communities and other work.
The Reverence, Resistance and Resilience Film Series will continue at the Athol Library with North Quabbin Energy as a co-sponsor.
Thurs., March 15 at 6 p.m. — “The Economics of Happiness” & “The Great Turning.”
Thurs., April 12 at 6 p.m. — “Soil Carbon Cowboys”
Renewable Energy and Local Living Workshops from Garlic & Arts Festival are now online — See 2017 Garlic & Arts Festival
See photos of 2017 Festival and other past festivals at https://garlicandarts.org/photo-gallery-for-past-festivals/
Resistance at Standing Rock — Final Fall Film at Athol Public Library on December 5th at 6 p.m.
AWAKE, A Dream from Standing Rock
AWAKE follows the dramatic rise of the historic #NODAPL native-led peaceful resistance at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, North Dakota, which captured the world’s attention. Thousands of activists converged from around the country to stand in solidarity with the Water Protectors (activists) protesting the construction of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The Water Protectors at Standing Rock have awakened the nation and forever changed the way we fight for clean water, the environment and the future of our planet.
The Reverence, Resistance, Resilience Film Series is a collaboration with the Athol Public Library and North Quabbin Energy. Please call Athol Library at 978-249-9515 to reserve a spot.
Fall Film Series Continues at Athol Public Library
November 1 from 7-9 p.m. — The second film in this series continues with Requiem for the American Dream. This film features Noam Chomsky who spent time interviewing many people who bring insight to growing inequality in the United States. This film gives viewers a background on policies that allow having the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few. Tim Downs, a professor of environmental science and policy at Clark University, will lead a discussion following the film. The Reverence, Resistance, Resilience Film Series is a collaboration with the Athol Public Library and North Quabbin Energy. Please call Athol Library at 978-249-9515 to reserve a spot.
Work by Town Energy Committees Call for Action
Orange Town Energy Committee is calling on residents to attend the Fall Special Town Meeting on Thursday, October 26th at 7 p.m. at Orange Town Hall and to vote YES on the Stretch Energy Code so the town can move forward with a Green Communities Designation Grant Application this year.
Royalston Energy Committee has their Fall Special Town Meeting on Friday, October 27th and is also asking people to vote YES on the Stretch Energy Code. Continue reading Focusing on Education and Projects Calling for Action by Citizens