Clean Power Blog

The drive out to Hadley on a balmy summer morning is lovely – the bucolic scenery, fresh air and occasional tractor on the Pike are quite the treat for the InnovateMass team from Boston, and it’s almost tempting to call it a day at 9:30 am and simply open a book under a shady tree.

In fact, that exact scene is the backdrop for Hadley Propeller, where inside the engineers of Black Island Wind Turbines are designing, building and testing wind turbines designated for the toughest climates on earth. Black Island is the maker of the HR-3, a wind turbine specifically created to prevail under the combined pressures of extreme temperatures, Category 5 wind speeds, marine environments and super critical loads. This type of reliable energy generation is crucial in any situation where a loss of power can endanger lives: isolated research facilities, desert bases, and military outposts in particular. That same durability, at a lower generating level, is the goal for the HR-1, currently under development with funding from a MassCEC InnovateMass Grant. 

Someone once said, “Highways are the cathedrals of our time.”

While the truth of that statement is easy to recognize, there is perhaps an equally impressive infrastructural undertaking lying hidden beneath our feet.  More than 1 million miles of buried pipes make up vast water networks across the United States. Like the many American bridges and highways that are in desperate need of repair, much of the drinking water infrastructure has become outdated and will need to be replaced in order to avoid serious disruptions to public health and safety.

Many Americans tend to take their access to safe and reliable drinking water for granted. This lack of concern is understandable when you consider the fact that the United States has been so successful at storing, treating and conveying water for so long. Affected by increasing demand and dwindling supply, the current price of drinking water does not fully account for the costs associated with infrastructure upkeep and the improvements needed to deliver safe drinking water to a growing population.

Thanks to a total of 141 participants, MassCEC’s Mass Solar Connect pilot program has surpassed 1 Megawatt of contracted solar energy capacity. Education, outreach and community organizing have made this feat in solar adoption possible.

Group purchasing offers great benefits when it comes to going solar. Members of Mass Energy Consumers Alliance (Mass Energy) and its affiliated organizations have seen this firsthand: through Mass Solar Connect, participants are able to install small-scale solar electric systems for more than 30 percent below last year’s statewide average cost.

Mass Solar Connect is built on the same principles that govern Solarize Mass: as more people join together in purchasing solar electric systems, the price of all systems decreases. This benefits both community members and the solar installer that MassCEC and Mass Energy have competitively selected as their partner under the program.

So who is eligible to participate? Mass Energy members and Mass Energy’s network of allied non-profits, including: the Massachusetts Audubon Society, which advocates for nature conservation in Massachusetts, and Mothers Out Front, a movement of caregivers pushing policymakers towards a clean energy future.