On Wednesday October 2nd, at the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) hosted a ribbon cutting of the completed Hogan/Wrentham Comprehensive Energy Project at the Hogan Regional Center in Hathorne (Danvers). DDS Commissioner Elin Howe joined representatives of state agencies, the U.S. Department of Energy, utility representatives, state legislators, President of the Hogan Board of Trustees, and private contractors involved in the project to celebrate the achievement.
The project completed work on two DDS sites: the Wrentham Developmental Center in Wrentham, MA and the Hogan Regional Center in Hathorne (Danvers), MA. Both facilities serve adults with intellectual disabilities and house administrative, residential, recreational, and medical offices. The project improvements have resulted in significant energy and facility improvements at over 820,000 square feet between the two sites.
Hogan Regional Center is located on the site of a now defunct state hospital. A significant portion of the hospital site was sold in 2005 to private developers, but Hogan Regional Center and an oil fired power plant were left under state control. The aging power plant (built in the late 1800s) continued to supply Hogan with its steam needs even though it was extremely inefficient due to its distance from the site, significant steam leaks, and a boiler installed in 1936. The energy project included the decommissioning of the over 100 year old steam plant and replacement of oil fired boilers with cleaner burning natural gas.
The Wrentham Developmental Center is over 100 years old and was created to serve 361 adults with intellectual disabilities. Opened in 1907, the facility contained four residential units, and a twelve bed state of the art acute care medical center. The site underwent an upgrade in the early 1980’s which included renovations to residences and the program building, but it has not been upgraded since.
The project started with a $3.8 million grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that helped ramp up staffing resources necessary to implement large scale energy projects across millions of square feet of state buildings. The $24.4 million project itself was funded through state issued general obligation and clean energy bonds, most of which will be paid for through project savings, solar thermal and PV renewable energy incentives, along with utility incentives of $1.2 million.
One of many projects undertaken to help support the Leading by Example Program (LBE) targets set by Governor Patrick in a 2007 Executive Order, LBE specific targets for state government operations include: Reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions 25% by 2012 and 40% by 2020, Reduce energy consumption 20% by 2012 and 35% by 2020 and 15% renewable energy goal by 2012 and 30% by 2020.
Within just one year, between 2012 and 2013, the savings are already significant.
- Hogan eliminated more than 700,000 gallons of #6 fuel oil consumption, the dirtiest fuel type still used by the state. Fuel oil was replaced with much cleaner burning natural gas, reducing the total energy used for thermal loads at Hogan between by 79%.
- Hogan used 2.3 million fewer gallons of water, a 59% reduction, total operational cost savings at Hogan between 2012 and 2013 reached around $2 million, a 77% reduction.
- Hogan reduced annual greenhouse gas emissions by some 7,625 metric tons, equivalent to removing more than 1,588 passenger vehicles from the road. That’s an emissions reduction of 75% in just one year
- Wrentham has also eliminated use of over half a million gallons of #6 oil with a total reduction in oil use from the entire project reaching well over 1 million gallons a year.
With the original power plant ¼ mile away and it could take 48-72 hours to properly adjust room temperatures and huge steam leaks between the power plant and Hogan buildings could be seen by the melted snow in the middle of winter. Before, the living quarters were always too hot or too cold. Now the quality of life for residents and staff has improved dramatically.
DTA Adds the New England Aquarium to its Cultural Partnership Program posted on Feb 23
The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) announced that the New England Aquarium joined the list of more than a dozen top educational and cultural institutions statewide that offer free or reduced access. DTA’s Cultural Partnerships provides individuals and families an opportunity to visit partnering institutions …Continue Reading DTA Adds the New England Aquarium to its Cultural Partnership Program
Teaming Up for DYS Youth: A Long-standing Partnership Serves to Inspire posted on Feb 17
If you tried, you probably could hear a pin drop in the room. On a February evening, during a special visit to the Department of Youth Services (DYS) Metro Pre-Trial Detention Unit, nearly a dozen young men sat attentively and completely absorbed in the words …Continue Reading Teaming Up for DYS Youth: A Long-standing Partnership Serves to Inspire
DCF Increases Focus on Foster Care Awareness with the Help of 15 New Recruiters posted on Feb 8
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) begins 2017 with the addition of 15 staff members dedicated to recruiting foster parents across the state. DCF created the foster care recruiter positions as part of the system-wide reform initiated in September 2015 by the Baker-Polito Administration …Continue Reading DCF Increases Focus on Foster Care Awareness with the Help of 15 New Recruiters