Long known as a "Green Community" by the Department of Energy Resources' (DOER) Green Communities Division, the city of Woburn, Massachusetts continues its push towards energy conservation and environmental sustainability. Its journey, bolstered by significant funding for a series of energy-saving initiatives, has made Woburn a model for municipalities seeking green solutions.
Since 2011, Woburn has secured almost $1.7 million in competitive, energy-related grants from DOER. These funds have been directed towards comprehensive sustainability efforts, including retrofitting public buildings and street lights with energy-efficient LED technology, investing in electric vehicles for the city's fleet, and updating heating and cooling systems in schools and municipal buildings. Moreover, these projects are part of the city's broader aim to decrease energy consumption by a minimum of 20%.
Another highlight of Woburn's green efforts is its substantial investment in solar power. Dominating the city's landscape is the 3.4-MW DC Solar Array at the Woburn Landfill, estimated to generate over 4 million kWh of electricity annually. This major project is projected to save the city over $370,000 each year. Meanwhile, the 271 kW Solar Array at Kennedy Middle School is anticipated to yield more than 300,000 kW of electricity, resulting in annual savings of over $23,000 for the Woburn School Department.
Turning to electric vehicle infrastructure, Woburn boasts 15 public charging station ports within a 15-kilometer radius, the majority of which are Level 2 charging ports. Notably, over a quarter of these ports offer complimentary charges for electric cars, with ChargePoint, None, and SemaConnect featuring as the primary charging networks within the city.
Although there is no precise count of electric vehicles in Woburn, one can speculate based on statewide data. As of September 2021, Massachusetts reported 30,470 registered electric vehicles. Given Woburn's population of 41,473 in 2023, and assuming a similar ratio of electric vehicles to population as the state average, it's likely that Woburn is home to a substantial number of electric vehicles.
The "Green City" of Woburn, with its commitment to energy conservation, renewable energy sources, and sustainable transportation, serves as a leading example of how communities can actively engage in building a more sustainable future.