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The Changing Face of Mattapan is Green!

Mattapan has a large portion of green space within the neighborhood. The Harambee Park, the Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, Clark-Cooper Community Gardens, and historic Forest Hill Cemetery can all be considered green space within the neighborhood of Mattapan. The of vision of enhancing environmental justice and quality of life in Boston by protecting air, water, climate, and land resources can easily find fertile ground in the community of Mattapan. Olmstead Green is a community that is close to realizing the best of urban green living. All that is missing is a focus on solar and home batteries to make the build as close to net zero as possible. Demand for residences that produce as much energy as they consume is being spurred by climate concerns, consumer appetite and more affordable solar technology.

The only thing lacking in new Boston building is the aspect of economic viability through renewable energy. The city itself focuses on achieving carbon neutrality while working to mitigate and prepare for the effects of climate change, including flooding, sea level rise, and extreme weather. It is homeowners themselves as individuals that must prepare to lower their expenditures to deal with the increased cost of resources and the inevitable scarcity that will ensue as climate change causes transport of resources to become more expensive and this includes energy costs!

As of October 2022, the average solar panel cost in Mattapan, MA is $2.82/W. Given a solar panel system size of 5 kilowatts (kW), an average solar installation in Mattapan, MA ranges in cost from $12,492 to $17,050, with the average gross price for solar in Mattapan, MA coming in at $12,617. After accounting for the 30% federal investment tax credit (ITC) the final cost would be $8831.90 which is less than the cost of a new kitchen. For an extra $3000 many add a battery system as a back up to almost eliminate their electric bills even if they are Grid -tied! ‘Grid-tied’ means that the system will connect to the public utility grid, providing reliable backup power for when there is insufficient sun to power your home, such as at night or on cloudy days.

A grid-tied system also sells excess power to the grid, so when it is sunny and your system is producing more solar power than you can use, you’ll send the power back to the public grid, powering your neighbor’s house and earning you a credit. The solar credits you earn can be used against future power consumption from the grid. Clean, non-polluting electricity produced from wind and sunshine is growing faster than ever before. "In Massachusetts, renewable sources now produce 32% of all energy. That is a 800% growth since 2010. In the same time, the cost of producing electricity from solar energy has declined by nearly 95%, and the cost of generating electricity from wind has fallen by more than 70%. It is now cheaper in many places to produce electricity from the sun and wind than from any fossil fuel . Energy investors are well aware of these trends, and last year for the first time ever, more money was invested in clean energy than in fossil fuels. The gas and oil lobbyists are having a difficult time in Washington keeping the oil subsidies from transferring to renewable energy businesses. The fossil fuel industry benefits from subsidies of $11m every minute, according to a 2021 analysis by the International Monetary Fund. In Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed the "Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind" bill into law."(Solar Estimates .Org 2022)

"The new law builds on the 2021 law by providing a detailed plan about how the state can meet its ambitious climate targets and clean energy goals for 2050 and beyond. It once and for all eliminates the "price cap," a controversial rule that required every new offshore wind project to deliver cheaper electricity than previous projects. Massachusetts was sacrificing important economic development opportunities that could benefit communities like Mattapan where those that have experience in roofing and construction have found green business offers greater lucrative opportunities and less strenuous work days! The law also says that when the state is selecting new projects, it must give more weight to bids that promise manufacturing investments, employment opportunities for low income and minority workers, supply contracts with minority and women-owned small businesses, job training opportunities, project labor agreements and other environmental and socioeconomic benefits. What's more, the big investor-owned utilities like National Grid and Eversource will no longer play a role in helping to select winning bids. That power is now solely in the hands of the Department of Energy Resources and an independent evaluator."

The law also puts the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center in charge of making sure the state has the necessary port infrastructure and job training programs. The center will also oversee the administration of new tax incentives, grants, loans, and other investment opportunities to help build a domestic supply chain, support new technologies and establish more job training programs. Finally, the law directs the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to help schools across the state establish pilot programs for offshore wind job training. According to Energy Sage, if you buy a system and are current paying $150 a month for electricity, you can save an estimated $14,500 over the next 10 years — almost $1,500 a year


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