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Energy Rising

Kuster discusses strategy in Nashua

By ADAM URQUHART - Staff Writer | Feb 19, 2020

Telegraph photo by ADAM URQUHART Nashua Energy Manager Doria Brown, left, speaks to U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., about clean energy initiatives, Tuesday at the Nashua Public Library.

NASHUA – “There’s no silver bullet – it’s a silver buckshot approach, but we need to decarbonize our economy and protect our planet for generations to come.”

U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., spoke of her Clean Energy Agenda while meeting with local leaders at the Nashua Public Library on Tuesday.

“In my lifetime, the (average) temperature in New Hampshire has gone up two-and-a-half degrees, primarily in the winter, and the precipitation has increased 12 inches per annual precipitation, and primarily in dramatic weather events,” Kuster said.

Kuster’s agenda is comprised of more than 20 bills, mostly emerging from the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, to address the threat climate change poses to the planet. The congresswoman said many of these bills are due for hearings in spring, while she hopes to get them to the House floor for vote by summer.

In the meantime, she is spreading the word about her agenda while having discussions with various stakeholders, as she did Tuesday at the Nashua Public Library.

Some of the bills included in her agenda cover investing in energy efficiency, advancing renewable energy, environmental protection and protecting public lands, clean energy jobs, clean transportation and national security and global action.

Nashua officials have already been investing in clean energy resources and looking at ways to reduce the city’s carbon emissions. These goals include reducing school, municipal building and infrastructure greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025, and to reduce municipal vehicle emissions by 25% by 2025. Additionally, city leaders are striving to achieve 100% renewable, clean energy sources by 2050, which would be obtained for school and municipal systems.

The city has already been making investments in cleaner forms of transportation and energy sources, for example. Three sites in the city were targeted to have solar arrays installed by ReVision Energy. Company Director of Market Development Dan Weeks said crews completed the installation of these solar panels on three city municipal buildings in December. These three solar sites include the Lake Street Fire Station, Nashua Transit Garage and Conway Arena.

Weeks was one of those local officials who joined the congresswoman for this conversation around clean energy. Weeks claims science proves that Earth will be around in the year 2100. However, there is question whether the planet will support human life by that time.

Also seated at the table were David Worthen of Worthen Industries, Joe Murray of Fidelity Investments, Doria Brown with the city and Kate Peters of Eversource Energy. Peters emphasized the fall announcement by Eversource that the company intends to be carbon-neutral by 2030.

Brown serves as energy manager for the city of Nashua. She highlighted the work done in the city by ReVision with the recently installed solar panels, and also discussed the city’s two new hybrid electric buses. She said Nashua is also looking to get more electric buses, although the next buses will be fully electric.

Brown also said that on Monday, the city got two more solar projects approved for Dr. Norman W. Crisp Elementary School and Fairgrounds Middle School.

“After looking at your Clean Energy Agenda, I think that it very much aligns with some of the stuff that Nashua is doing,” Brown told the congresswoman.

Brown said two weeks ago, the city received a grant to become a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) city from the U.S. Green Building Council. A LEED city is an all encompassing certification that can be achieved for various environmental initiatives.

“A LEED city is conscious of their greenhouse gases. They’re looking at their walkability of their city; they’re understanding how much conservation land they have per capita. And all of this that you have in the Clean Energy Agenda kind of encompasses some of the stuff that we’d be doing in our LEED city initiative as we develop that with our master plan in 2020,” Brown said.

Adam Urquhart may be contacted at 594-1206, or at aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.

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