Sampan by editor

Environmental justice collaboration receives two $75,000 grants by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

RUN-GJC, a collaborative of nine organizations dedicated to environmental justice and energy democracy, announced today that it has been awarded two $75,000 grants by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. RUN, the technical team organized to support Resilient Urban Neighborhoods, joined forces with GJC, the Green Justice Coalition with social organizing expertise, to explore the idea of reliable, renewable energy in low-income communities in the form of microgrids. Together, the group will use the funds to work with the communities in Chelsea and Chinatown in Boston to generate interest and conduct a feasibility assessment.

“RUN-GJC is thrilled to be a recipient of 2 MassCEC community microgrid feasibility assessment grants totaling $150,000. The grants will fund the work necessary to both conduct the technical analysis and to mobilize community members in Chelsea and Boston’s Chinatown, the proposed sites for the microgrids,” said Dave Dayton, founder of the RUN team.

Over the next few months, community organizers from GreenRoots Chelsea and the Chinese Progressive Association will conduct important engagement work to hear what benefits the neighborhoods hope to derive from microgrids and to explain how they might work.

Microgrids present an exciting opportunity to aid in grid modernization. The existing electricity grid is strained and completing infrastructure upgrades is a lengthy and expensive process. Furthermore, the costs associated with these upgrades are passed on to ratepayers in their utility bills. Microgrids offer reliability, which is crucial when considering how increasingly disruptive weather from climate change puts communities in jeopardy. They could also preclude the need for certain big infrastructure projects, saving both money and community vitality. And they offer a tool for increased energy democracy and local control.

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