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WECAC advocates for mitigation programs and policies aimed at combating climate change. Local government, businesses, and individual citizens are essential in this effort. Climate change mitigation involves decreasing greenhouse gas emissions through renewable energy generation, energy efficiency improvements, and transitioning to cleaner energy sources.

Solar Array at the Wellfleet Transfer Station

Wellfleet home with south and west-facing solar panels.

Wellfleet, as part of the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008, became a Green Community in 2012. Official greenhouse gas reduction targets as a percent of 1990 levels are: -50% by 2030; -75% as of 2040; and net zero by 2050.

  • Establishment of energy and emissions inventories for the Town and the setting of goals for energy and emissions reductions.

  • Assessment of the scope for energy conservation and for renewable energy use in Town buildings and by Town transport.

  • Recommendation of feasible projects for energy conservation and for renewable energy use.

  • Review of Town by-laws to promote energy conservation and renewable energy use.

  • Educational outreach for Wellfleet citizens.

  • Development of mitigation strategies as outlined in the 2018 Wellfleet Comprehensive Plan Section 10 on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for a more resilient community.

  • Development of Town Climate Action Plan. 

Electric cars at Wellfleet home.


Electric Vehicle Exposition

In 2023, WECAC, along with Recharge Massachusetts, the Cape Cod Commission, the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority and the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative, held an Electric Vehicle Exposition at the Hyannis Transportation Center Parking Lot. About 200 people attended the event, an excellent turnout given the windy cold weather. Forty people registered for test drives, most driving several different EV’s. The number of test drives was over 100. There were 16 exhibitors and 12 showcase cars (not available to drive).

Solar Array on the Capped Landfill

In December 2021, the solar array on the capped landfill, which produces electricity for the Town of Wellfleet and the Nauset Regional School District, finally went live. The project was begun in 2013, when Town Meeting passed a zoning bylaw allowing the ground-based solar panels on the 7.4 acre site. The array had no cost to the town and will bring in revenue of about $60,000 a year for 20 years. The elementary school, fire station, and library also have solar arrays.

Petitioned Article, Net Zero by 2050

At the 2020 town meeting, Wellfleet adopted greenhouse gas reduction as policy, accepting a goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

Global Covenant of Mayors

In 2018, the Wellfleet Selectboard voted to adopt the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, an international alliance of cities and local governments with a shared long-term vision of promoting and supporting voluntary action to combat climate change and move to a low emission, resilient society. As part of the covenant, Wellfleet agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030; increase resilience by adapting to climate change; and alleviate energy poverty.

Outer Cape Energize

In 2018, along with Eastham, Truro, and Provincetown, WECAC participated in Outer Cape Energize, a formal public outreach and education effort. The program had three goals: encourage solar PV installations for residents and small businesses; encourage the adoption of technologies that use green-generated electricity instead of carbon-based fuels, such as air source heat pumps, air source hot water heaters, and electric vehicles; encourage the overall reduction of energy usage through conservation.

Solarize Wellfleet

Supported by a grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) in 2014, the Solarize Wellfleet program aimed to increase the adoption of small-scale solar electricity systems through a grassroots educational campaign, driven mainly by Wellfleet volunteers and a tiered pricing structure that increased savings. Wellfleet was a leader in the per capita installation of rooftop solar PV systems.

Street Light Conversion

In 2014, the Cape Light Compact installed 233 LED street lights in Wellfleet, for an annual savings of about 74,000 kilowatt hours representing almost $17,000 in savings in electricity and maintenance costs.

Green Communities Act

In 2012, the annual town meeting adopted the 2008 Green Communities Act. To become a Green Community, Wellfleet had to:

  • Establish an energy use baseline. Create an inventory of energy use for municipal buildings, facilities, street lighting, and vehicles. WECAC helps to maintain this list.

  • Develop an Energy Reduction Plan (ERP): Demonstrate a 20% reduction in energy use after five years of implementation. Wellfleet town meetings adopted the Stretch Code in 2015 and the Specialized Stretch Code in 2023 for new construction, renovations, and additions. These specialized energy codes are designed to increase efficiency in on-site energy use and cut fossil fuel use. In addition, the Town produced an ERP as part of the Local Comprehensive Plan in 2018.

  • Provide "as-of-right" siting: Allow renewable energy, manufacturing, or research and development facilities to be located in designated areas. Wellfleet rezoned the landfill in 2013 to provide “as-of-right” siting for the PV array.

  • Adopt an expedited application and permit process: Apply for proposed facilities using MGL c 43D zoning districts. Wellfleet implemented an expedited permitting process for the landfill zone that allowed for reviews to be completed within one year.

  • Purchase energy efficient vehicles: Wellfleet committed to buying only fuel-efficient cars where practical in the future.


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