October 10th and 11th, Renewable Energy Vermont’s 19th annual Conference and Exposition, REV2019, convened hundreds of business, political and non-profit leaders for two days of collective re-envisioning of New England’s energy needs.
Recognized as New England’s premier event exploring clean energy innovations and climate solutions, the conference also provided an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of individuals who have devoted their lives to addressing the climate crisis by advancing renewable energy in Vermont.
“The work of our awardees moves our state to a future where we are powered by 100% renewable energy which we know is the most resilient, reliable, and cost effective path for the future,” said Olivia Campbell Andersen, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Vermont. “Our 2019 awardees—James Moore of SunCommon and Martha Staskus of Norwich Solar Technologies—have shown us all that incredible climate action and cost savings are possible in every community when we work together.”
The Renewable Energy Innovation Award to James Moore of SunCommon
The Renewable Energy Innovation Award, recognizes a project, company, organization, or individual contributing innovative, influential, and transformative efforts for implementing renewable energy and climate action in Vermont. The 2019 recipient of the award is James Moore of SunCommon who has pioneered a path toward a world where renewable energy is a way of everyday life, not just a pie in the sky dream. James Moore has had a transformative impact on accessibility of renewable energy right here in Vermont. The guiding mission at the heart of SunCommon, which James founded and built from the ground up, is to make renewable energy accessible to all. James and his team have pioneered this by making solar power not only accessible, but also logical and financially responsible. James has changed the way Vermont thinks about electricity; he is at the forefront of this climate revolution that we are living. “Honestly”, James says, “I have always enjoyed the clean energy work the most. I think if we are going to leave our kids with a healthy planet we need businesses to step it up and drive a clean energy transition for our economy.”
The Renewable Energy Champion Award to Martha Staskus
Martha Staskus received the 2019 Renewable Energy Champion Award. This award recognizes an individual who tirelessly ‘champions’ the benefits of developing, creating, informing, and striving to improve our state with the deployment of renewable energy generation. Martha has been involved in 4 out of 5 utility-scale wind projects in Vermont, generating about 150 megawatts of renewable energy for Vermonters. From Searsburg to Lowell to Georgia Mountain, Martha has been behind the scenes smoothing the way for permits and educating communities and regulators. She is also responsible for getting multiple megawatts of net-metered solar projects deployed throughout the state, an effort she continues today as Vice President of Development at Norwich Solar Technologies. Martha has served as Secretary, Vice Chair and Chair of the board at Renewable Energy Vermont and is always ready to lend a hand.
Her tireless commitment to advancing renewable energy is motivated by her profound desire to create a healthy and sustainable future for our children. “Generating clean, renewable energy here in Vermont reduces the need to import fossil-fuel based power and reduces pollutants resulting from burning of those fuels,” says Martha. “For our kid’s sake, for our environment and our health, we all need to look at where we can make a difference and then make it happen.”
Recognition of REV Board Chair, Jeff Forward
REV2019 also recognized Jeff Forward for five years of service as Chair of the board of Renewable Energy Vermont. Jeff has worked with hundreds of schools; hospitals and other institutional facilities throughout the country to help them evaluate their energy opportunities related to biomass, solar and energy efficiency technologies. Jeff says, “We really need immediate action now. REV members are the boots on the ground for addressing this climate crisis; it was an honor to serve on the board.”
Highlights of the two-day conference include an engaging presentation by keynote speaker Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute hosted by VT Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman; a rare opportunity to engage with energy regulators from VT, CT and NY about the ways that policy can accelerate the growth of renewable energy technologies and the modernization of New England’s grid; remarks from Congressman Peter Welch about the state of climate action in Washington; a climate action announcement from Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, and a discussion with legislators VT Senate Pro Tempore Tim Ashe, VT Representative Avram Patt and MA Representative Joan Meschino.
Renewable Energy Vermont represents businesses, non-profits, utilities, and individuals committed to reducing our reliance on dirty fossil fuels by increasing clean renewable energy and energy efficiency in Vermont. Vermont’s clean energy economy directly enables at least 18,800 jobs at 3,612 businesses, representing approximately 6% of Vermont’s workforce. Together, we will achieve 100% total renewable energy (electric, thermal, transportation).