An example of a solar array canopy with a timber frame in a parking lot. They can be made of other materials, including metal. Architects showed the School Building Committee what it would take to make Watertown’s new elementary schools net zero — so the campus would generate enough energy to cover the electricity used to run the building. Watertown will be building two new elementary schools — at Cunniff and Hosmer — and school officials seek to make them not only green schools, but are looking at possibly making them net zero schools. Wednesday night, architect Scott Dunlap of Ai3 Architects, told the committee overseeing the project that the energy would be generated by photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.
Watertown’s new electricity plan will get half its energy from renewable sources, such as solar panels. NOTE: A fourth informational meeting has been added, see details below:
In September, Watertown residents will be transitioned to the Town’s new Electricity Choice Program, which gets half its power from renewable sources. Customers have a choice to opt out of the program, or to get a greater percentage of green electricity. The new renewable energy contract will be part of the state’s Community Choice Aggregation program. In May, the Town Council gave Town Manager Michael Driscoll the authority to approve a contract with a greater amount of renewable energy that required by the state.
Residents will soon be able to purchase a second recycling toter – the green one – for less than before. With the recycling world in flux, the Department of Public Works is trying to get Watertown to clean up its recycling in an effort to maintain service and keep prices down. Jesse Myott, the DPW’s director of Administration and Finance, said that the facilities that take the recyclable items from the United States have become more strict about what they will take. Loads with the wrong type of materials, or those that are dirty or soiled with trash are being rejected. “Back in 2018 we saw significant change with regards to the global processing of recycling,” Myott said.
Watertown’s Jocelyn Tager recently received an honor for her work advocating for solar energy. A Watertown woman who made it her mission to spread the use of solar energy in town, and beyond, recently received an award for her work and accolades from the Town Council. Jocelyn “Jolly” Tager was honored at the Solar Energy BusinessAssociation of New England’s Summer Solstice Celebration for her advocacy for solar energy. Last week, the Town Council recognized Tager for, among other things, pushing for Watertown to become the first community in Massachusetts to have a solar requirement for new developments over a certain size. Tager said said she has enjoyed the accolades.
On Saturday, April 27, members and supporters of Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice & the Environment again participated in the annual Charles River Cleanup. The general impression is that there was less trash this year; the ban on single-use thin plastic shopping bags works! However, we were appalled to discover a nearby stretch of property being used as a dumping ground for construction debris. Old windows, carpeting, tiles among other trash were among the objects we found. This was too much for us to be able to remove.
The following information was provided by The Plumbing Museum:
The Plumbing Museum is pleased to announce its first annual WATERtown Film Festival designed to increase the public awareness of environmental, social, and cultural importance of water. This two-day festival will kick off on Thursday, June 27 at 6 p.m. at the Plumbing Museum featuring an exciting line up of documentary, narrative, and experimental short films from around the world. The full program will screen 20 films in four screening blocks over two days. Highlights include a narrative film Haleema about two young children in a search for water in Sudan, a documentary film Bass by Kayak about an expedition party crossing from the Australian mainland to Tasmania in sea kayaks, a narrative film The Great Route about the effects of global warming in the west cost of Greenland, and an experimental film Plankton about the ideas and aspirations that float around at the bottom of the food chain. “We’re excited to bring such a great variety of unique films to Watertown,” said Sasha Parfenova, Festival Director.
The following information was provided by Neighborhood Solar:
Now Is a Great Time to Consider Solar! Come Find Out Why! Please join Watertown Faces Climate Change, Belmont Goes Solar, and Neighborhood Solar for an informative presentation on the benefits of installing solar and why now is the perfect time to consider it.
Neighborhood Solar is a local nonprofit working to leverage a group-buy to make a solar installation more affordable. Right now, and until July 31st, Watertown residents, businesses, and nonprofits can save 20 percent off the base-price of installation, receive a 30 percent federal tax credit, use Massachusetts’s new SMART incentive, and apply for a zero-down loan to get the work done! Date: June 13, 2019
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: Habitat, Education and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Road, Belmont, MA 02478
More solar-generated energy will be included in the electricity received by Watertown customers. Tuesday night, the Town Council cleared the way for the Town to negotiate “green” electrical contract for all residents and many business customers that will have a small savings, and will include a much larger portion generated by renewable methods. The new Community Choice Aggregation program will be an opt-out program, into which all residents, small businesses and organizations will be enrolled automatically. The goal is to have 50 percent of the energy generated by renewable sources (such as solar, wind generated and hydro), and the rate will result in an estimated savings of $7 a year, said Watertown Energy Manager and Facilities Project Manager Ed Lewis. Watertown customers will have the option of opting for a basic rate (which includes the state required amount of renewable energy), for a plan with electricity from 100 percent renewable sources, or to opt out of the program completely.
State Rep. Jonathan Hecht
Watertown State Rep. Jonathan Hecht will be honored with a Massachusetts Clean Community Award for his work to reduce the amount of waste in the Bay State. The award will be given out by the Keep Massachusetts Beautiful group at a ceremony on May 16, 2019 in Boston. Other recipients include State Sen. Paul Feeney, Rep. Jay Barrows, and Rep. Randy Hunt. Keep Massachusetts Beautiful is a non-profit group working to “to keep Massachusetts communities clean, green, and litter-free.” Hecht will receive the award because of his work as a legislator trying to reduce waste, said Neil Rhein, executive director of Keep Massachusetts Beautiful.