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Solsmart Designations and Clean Energy Forum Recap

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On October 11th, the Clean Energy team engaged over 100 stakeholders at Boston’s District Hall, on how to take a holistic approach to net zero planning & strategies to start achieving net zero goals.

The cities of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, and Towns of Concord and Wayland shared their progress and insight on working towards net zero goals. MAPC staff from the Clean Energy, Land Use, Transportation, Environment, and Public Health Departments introduced attendees to the variety of ways MAPC can help them to deploy multi-benefit strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Climate leaders facilitated robust and thoughtful discussions throughout the room with attendees on barriers, best practices, and resources for communities setting out on net zero planning.

Seven MAPC communities were also awarded SolSmart designation at the event. Chelsea, Boston, Cambridge, Melrose, Winthrop, Natick and Somerville participated in SolSmart, a national program funded by the Department of Energy’s SunShot initiative that seeks to reduce solar soft costs.

These municipalities achieved criteria in categories such as permitting, inspection, planning and zoning, community engagement and marketing and finance to qualify for designation. The MAPC communities also collaborated on regional measures to adopt best practices for solar. Somerville achieved gold designation through the program, and Natick, Winthrop and Cambridge plan to pursue higher levels of designation this fall.