BOSTON – State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D – Pittsfield) and State Representative Denis E. Guyer (D – Dalton) announced today that three local organizations have been selected to receive grants from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s (MTC) Renewable Energy Trust Fund, under the Trust’s Large Onsite Renewable Initiative (LORI).
Grant winners Berkshire Biodiesel, LLC and United Veterans of America, both of Pittsfield and Crane & Company, of Dalton have been awarded a total of $108,000 from the MTC LORI Initiative.
“This is a major infusion of state dollars into our companies which will allow us to move forward three innovative local projects,” said Downing. “Renewable energy technologies are drivers of the new economy, and once again Berkshire County is on the forefront, planning to make the best use out of these new technologies.”
"I am excited that the MTC has awarded these grants. Investing in renewable energy technology will keep Massachusetts on the cutting edge of innovation. I am particularly proud of the grant funding for Crane & Co. Crane has a long standing history of private investment in renewable technology and it is great to now see a public -private partnership developing to further and encourage future investment," stated Guyer.
The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, as administrator of the Renewable Energy Trust Fund uses the Large Onsite Renewables Initiative to expand the production and use of distributed renewable energy technologies in Massachusetts. MTC seeks to develop a diverse portfolio of renewable energy projects across a variety or locations, technologies, and building types.
Berkshire Biodiesel, LLC
Grant Amount: $30,000
Project Description: Berkshire Biodiesel, LLC has developed a 50 million gallon per year biodiesel production plan located in Pittsfield, MA. BBD seeks to investigate the technical and financial feasibility of designing, developing, and installing a renewable energy generation facility to serve the power and potentially a portion of the steam needs of the facility.
The feasibility study will focus on modifying proven diesel driven equipment with the MAN Group, exploring the permitting and siting needs for the system, locating additional sources of funding, and evaluating the technical project needs to ensure that the installation of the proposed 12 MW facility is technically and financially feasible. MTC funding of $30,000 will be a portion of the planned feasibility cost of $321,000.
Crane & Company, Inc.
Grant Amount: $38,000
Project Description: Crane & Co. proposes to investigate the feasibility of hydroelectric power generation at two of their existing dams - Byron Weston Dam No. 1 and Byron Weston Dam No. 2 on the East Branch of the Housatonic River in Dalton, Massachusetts. Crane is the owner of five dams along the river in Dalton, each of which was formerly used to supply water and power to an adjacent mill. Crane has always been committed to being a good steward of the Housatonic River, committing significant energy and resources to the maintenance and repair of its five dams, and also working with river stakeholders to breach a sixth dam to restore habitat along the river. The proposed feasibility study will focus on the two tallest dams, Byron Weston Dam No. 1 and Byron Weston Dam No. 2, which are in series along the river. A pre-feasibility study has estimated that the two dams together offer the possibility for the generation of up to 265 kW of power, all of which could be used in the adjacent Crane & Co. manufacturing plants.
United Veterans of America
Grant Amount: $40,000
Project Description: United Veterans of America, Inc. (UVA) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to supporting homeless veterans in finding medical, employment, and housing services. The UVA, working with the Berkshire Housing Development Corporation (BHDC), has already completed the renovation and operation of 60 transitional housing beds and 11 permanent, affordable apartments at 360 Housatonic Street in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
The green and renewable energy development strategy will focus on the construction of a combined heat and power co-generation facility that will operate on recycled vegetable oil from local restaurants, cafeterias, and other institutions. The design for the facility will be carried out during the third quarter of 2007 with final financing, approvals and other components completed during early 2008.