The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative has announced a three-year US$8 million Special Opportunity Partnership Initiative within its Green Buildings Program.Westborough, Massachusetts – April 30, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Special Opportunity Partnership Initiative (SOPI) will build on the learning experiences of the Green Schools and Green Buildings Initiatives. The intent and design of this Initiative, is to enable MTC to identify and partner with specific private or public sector entities considered best able to answer a specific question, test a certain hypothesis, or to create a specific tool useful for a sustainable transformation of the market for buildings. SOPI provides a framework for new relationships to be forged within the Green Buildings Program of the Renewable Energy Trust, a fund administered by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. According to the Energy Information Agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, over one-third of U.S. primary energy consumption and approximately two-thirds of total U.S. electricity consumption is accounted for by residential and commercial buildings on an annual basis. In addition, while great strides have been made over the years in improving the energy efficiency of these buildings and the energy and electricity consuming equipment that sits inside them, it is clear that vast reservoirs of additional potential savings remain untapped. One goal of MTC’s Green Buildings Program is to facilitate and accelerate these green changes to the complicated marketplace of goods and services that combine to deliver a completed building project to an owner because of the substantial public benefits associated with more efficient construction, a greater reliance on alternative and renewable sources of energy and the health and productivity improvements associated with toxic-free spaces and pleasing built environments. In addition, because Massachusetts has a competitive advantage with respect to certain goods and services likely to be required as a component of the building project, growth of that market segment is likely to lead to substantial economic activity and employment for Commonwealth-based firms. The Green Buildings Program has developed several highly-structured, performance-based, competitive initiatives that target specific major clusters of opportunity to advance green building practice and the deployment of renewables. Yet these major structured Initiatives inevitably leave gaps that risk costly lost opportunities. The development of renewables and of green buildings is a nascent industry: The sources of value and innovation are not wholly predictable. Moreover, these gaps are dynamic. As the Green Buildings Program’s experience and learning proceeds, new needs and barriers will become evident and new approaches and ideas will arise that hold exceptional promise. Similarly, old barriers will be overcome. In order to overcome this structural difficulty, MTC has authorized the initiative. At this time, experience gained by operation of the existing initiatives indicates that the following areas are of interest for appropriately structured partnerships: 1. State buildings, including institutions of higher education; 2. Private institutions of higher education; 3. Major developers having a home base/headquarters within Massachusetts, in particular, major developers of large commercial, industrial and institutional facilities; 4. One-of-a-kind, unique building projects that advance the practice of renewable energy and/or projects that incorporate technologies and measures not currently within the ambit of the Green Buildings and Green Schools Initiatives, such as, but not limited to building integrated generation from wind and the use of “light pipes” to bring daylight into interior spaces; 5. Major building owners within the state and/or Real Estate Investment Trust operations based in Massachusetts; 6. Low-income and affordable green housing useful as an example or test-site of a Massachusetts Green Housing Standard.