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Susan S. Kaplan

Susan S. Kaplan

Marketing & Outreach Coordinator, Department of Energy Resources

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Massachusetts’ flagship university is now the flagship for greenhouse gas emissions reductions! Recently honored with a 2010 Leading by Example Award, the University of Massachusetts Amherst has successfully reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by a remarkable 26% from its baseline (2002-2004). As the largest energy user among state facilities, generating some 20% of total state government greenhouse gas emissions, this is quite an achievement.

Umass Amherst Natural Gas Co-generation power plant

Inspired by Governor Patrick’s Executive Order 484: Leading by Example—Clean Energy and Efficient Buildings, UMass Amherst met the 25% reduction goal three years ahead of the Governor’s 2012 deadline. The campus achieved this milestone through a combination of building efficiency measures, conversion to a 10 MW natural gas co-generation power plant, and the elimination of its coal-fired power plant. The University’s co-generation facility provides all of the campus’ heating needs and up to 75% of its electricity needs. As a result, UMass Amherst reduced its GHG emissions by 42,000 metric tons, which is equivalent to the emissions from approximately 8,000 cars on the road for one year. In addition, with the installation of the new combined heat and power plant, the campus avoided consuming 40 million kWh of electricity from the grid (a 50% reduction!).

As state agencies and institutions embrace clean energy, tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars are being saved now and into the future. Smart, economical, and good for the environment, a clean energy revolution is indeed underway in Massachusetts  and state government is leading by example!

 

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As Deputy Director of DOER's Green Communities Division, Lisa helps lead a team devoted to working with Massachusetts cities and towns to realize environmental and cost benefits of municipal energy efficiency and renewable energy. Prior to joining DOER, Lisa worked in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs from 2007 to 2012, first as Press Secretary and then as Assistant Secretary for Communications and Public Affairs. Her previous communications and public relations experience includes both government and the private sector, where, as principal of upWrite Communications, she served clients such as The Trustees of Reservations, The Nature Conservancy, and Partners Health Care/North Shore Medical Center. She began her career as a journalist, covering Beacon Hill for the State House News Service, and later wrote for a variety of other publications including The Boston Globe, Teacher Magazine, Animals Magazine, and The Gulf of Maine Times. The author of two books, Lisa serves on the board of the Saugus River Watershed Council and resides with her family in Melrose.

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