DANVERS — Superintendent Heidi Riccio is pleased to announce the signing of a bill supporting clean energy generation and education at Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School.
Bill HR 4922, an act relative to clean energy generation at Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School, was signed by Governor Baker on Friday, Aug. 7.
The bill extends the amount of time Essex Tech may lease portions of the property for for the purpose of solar, wind, geothermal or any other renewable distributed energy resource and any associated storage system for 25 years. This better suits the long leases typically expected by clean energy sources.
Recent graduates Bailey McCaul, of Lynn, and Abigael Joliffe, of Rowley, presented a case for the need to teach renewable energy to students through applied learning and opportunities on campus in June of last year to the district. After several reiterations of a draft, legislative breakfasts, school committee approval, and planning meetings, the two students and a partner from Clean Light and Power presented to the State’s joint committee.
The passing of the bill also follows efforts by Director of Facilities Joe St. Pierre and Natural Resources teacher Paul Crofts to bring solar and other renewable energy onto Essex Tech’s campus. Leases on the school’s property had previously been limited to three years.
Renewable energy is embedded in the school’s construction and environmental classes. Essex Tech is currently constructing a net-zero community and learning center in memory of Catherine Larkin, and the facility is being built by students in the construction program.
School Committee member and Topsfield Fair Director James O’Brien and State Rep. Ted Speliotis were also heavily involved in the the passing of the bill.
“I would like to thank those that helped us get this passed, including our local elected officials, Representative Speliotis, Senator Joan Lovely, Senator Bruce Tarr, and the remaining representatives and senators that moved this forward,” said Superintendent Riccio. “They have always been great supporters of our mission and I am truly grateful.”