July 2023

Gloucester EDIC Sponsors Study on Cape Ann Electrical Grid

Gloucester’s Economic Development and Industrial Corp, known as EDIC, sponsored a study by Daymark Energy Advisors to investigate the present capability of National Grid’s electric system to meet Gloucester and the region’s current and future needs. The region can be defined as Greater Cape Ann.

“The EDIC, whose mission is to support economic development and the creation of jobs in the City of Gloucester, has been working on this issue for nearly 18 months” says Tom Balf, EDIC member.

Key findings of the report include:

  • The transmission and distribution systems are at capacity;
  • There is limited ability to support demand and accommodate expansion;
  • The region is exposed to a “single point of failure” risk because it is served from one transmission substation in East Beverly; and
  • The potential economic consequences are significant.

Balf says that effective, pro-active long-range planning efforts, with stakeholder input, should advance much needed improvements to support:

  • robust transmission and distribution infrastructure critical for economic development,
  • new generation sources (e.g., solar),
  • battery storage facilities, and
  • projected increased electrical demands over the next decade.

“The timing of this study is good as National Grid will be submitting draft plans to the State in September on how it will modernize the grid and address distribution and generation issues,” he explains. Outreach, review, and input to the plan for Greater Cape Ann will be important as these plans will be finalized by the end of the year.

Changes ahead in how electricity is generated, used, and stored are front of mind for the EDIC. “It’s an important and momentous time to understand the energy needs of Cape Ann so that our communities can thrive,” notes Balf. “In order to support continued economic development and meet the decarbonization and net zero goals of the region, we must work with National Grid and other key stakeholders to upgrade our generation and distribution capacity, as well as transmission of electricity to the area. Longer term planning by all parties will be critical in making this energy transition take hold in an efficient, cost-effective, and equitable manner.”

Take time to watch this informative and eye-opening Daymark Energy Advisors presentation to the EDIC on July 11, 2023. The EDIC will host public presentations on their work in the coming months.

TownGreen believes that Greater Cape Ann's plans to move net zero forward are made more difficult without the investment of National Grid in the improvements of electric capacity in our region. The energy transition advocacy work that TownGreen is doing focuses on electrification, solar, and clean energy sources.

What Does Coastal Resilience Mean?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states that “coastal resilience means building the ability of a community to ‘bounce back’ after hazardous events such as hurricanes, coastal storms, and flooding – rather than simply reacting to impacts.”

Building coastal resilience for Cape Ann is vital for the region to respond to a big storm. That includes preparing individuals and families, businesses, schools, hospitals and emergency services, municipalities and infrastructure, and our coastal areas to respond to and recover from serious weather-related events made stronger by climate change.

How do we do that? We adapt by preparing for incremental sea level rise and storm surge by reviewing viable and realistic solutions for our area and start the process of implementation. Ideas include creating a living shoreline to break wave action or restoring marshes to absorb storm surge and flooding. And, looking at the social, economic, health, and ecological impacts of climate change.

TownGreen is partnering with the Harvard Graduate School of Design's Office for Urbanization to do this through a series of scenario planning studies and with our education programs: the Planning for Reality webinar series and accompanying in-person field trips. Education on climate impacts, adaptation solutions, and preparing for a big storm will help make Cape Ann a coastal resilience region that can recover more quickly after a climate-related storm event.

Learn more at: https://towngreen2025.org/video

Music on Meetinghouse Green Raises $783 for TownGreen

Music on Meetinghouse Green Raises $783 for TownGreen

Music on Meetinghouse Green Raises $783 for TownGreen Music on Meetinghouse Green Raises $783 for TownGreen

Many thanks to the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation and Charles Nazarian. Most especially, thanks to all the community members who came out for an evening of jazz on the Green, even with threatening skies, and donated so generously.