AMHERST, Mass. – The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has released a comprehensive study that evaluates the technical and financial feasibility of three potential water technology demonstration centers across Massachusetts, including one at UMass Amherst. The establishment of a demonstration center could offer a test bed to pilot new water technologies and position Massachusetts as a global leader in the water innovation and energy efficiency sector, providing significant business and employment opportunities.
The report was released today at the Innovations and Opportunities in Water Technologies Conference held at the Life Sciences Laboratories at UMass Amherst. The conference was sponsored by MassCEC and the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts. Speakers included Martin Suuberg, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; Stephen Pike, CEO, MassCEC; Rick Sullivan, president and CEO, Western Mass EDC, and Kumble Subbaswamy, chancellor of UMass Amherst.
The study analyzed the technical and financial feasibility of three potential water technology demonstration centers around the state. The three potential centers analyzed in the study would be located at the Wastewater Pilot Plant at UMass Amherst, the Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center (MASSTC) in Barnstable and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s Deer Island Treatment Plant in Boston Harbor.
Establishing this network of Water Technology Demonstration Centers could create jobs, lower energy costs, and optimize municipal operations in addition to supporting water technology research, the study says. A successfully established test bed network could serve existing Massachusetts-based water technology companies, help attract new companies to the Commonwealth, advance new solutions to both local and global water challenges, and provide a strong foundation for innovation.
The Amherst site is ideal for this work, Sullivan says. “UMass Amherst is already a leader in this sector,” he says. “The campus is positioned to undertake further research and development that will support industry growth and help grow a talented workforce for related industries.”
The conference also featured a series of discussions involving municipal officials, industry representatives and UMass Amherst faculty researchers.