From Policy to Projects: Putting NYers to Work for Clean Energy -- ACE NY’s 12th Annual Fall Conference and Membership Meeting -- attracted over 200 attendees to the beautifully renovated Albany Capital Center October 9-10, from a broad range of industries, individuals, and media interested in clean energy.
Starting with a members-only Board meeting October 9, ACE NY’s growing membership of clean energy developers, nonprofits, and industry organizations used the rest of the day to engage in membership roundtable discussion groups that covered Article 10 issues and improvements, large scale renewables procurement by the state, and legislation on energy efficiency and distributed energy resources. The work-day wrapped up with a late afternoon panel discussion on the NYISO carbon charge proposal featuring panelists Michael Mager from Multiple Intervenors, Frank Murray from NRDC, Kathy Robertson from Exelon, and Chris LaRoe from Brookfield. The interest in the carbon charge panel was obvious, resulting in a standing-room only scenario and discussion lasting longer than the allotted 75 minutes from on-going member questions to the panelists about the topic.
On opening night, a wonderful catered welcome reception took place in the lobby, featuring various signs and educational pieces from different organizations, and five exhibitors, including NYSERDA, NYPA, Workforce Development Institute, New York State Laborers Organizing Fund, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Opening remarks that evening by Congressman Paul Tonko set the tone for urgency on the climate crisis noting the release of the UN's IPCC Report, followed by an interesting presentation by Anne Hoskins, Chief Policy Officer of Sunrun. ACE NY honored Kevin Sheen from Terra-Gen, our Chair of the Board of Directors, for his many years of dedicated service to the organization, and welcomed Jenny Briot from Avangrid Renewables, who will be the new Chair of the Board of Directors for ACE NY in 2019. The evening reception also allowed people to meet with others and engage in important conversations around issues of clean energy and the climate crisis, which can often lead to opportunities and potential solutions from a cross-section of industries and individuals interested in making a difference for the sake of the planet.
An important clean energy announcement was made at the conference the next day on October 10, marking the growing importance of this conference as the place to be for clean energy insights, as Alicia Barton, President and CEO of NYSERDA, announced $40 million to support solar projects that integrate energy storage. It was also refreshing to hear Sarah Osgood, Director of Policy Implementation at the Department of Public Service, talk about a different approach to Article 10 siting in response to the challenges and need for a better process, local waivers, and more staff to move things forward faster and efficiently.
Other highlights included presentations from Peter Olmsted, New York State Assistant Secretary for Energy, and Dr. Kristina Johnson, SUNY Chancellor. A mix of panel discussions rounded-out the conference, including market challenges and opportunities for large DER projects; NY’s Clean Energy Standard ecosystem; siting challenges and strategies; and clean energy job creation.
In response to the high demand from attendees, the panelists and spotlight speakers' presentations are now available to ACE NY members. Pictures from the conference can be found on our social media sites, including our Twitter feed from October 10.
We’d like to offer a special thank you to our sponsors for making our annual conference possible: Deepwater Wind, Apex Clean Energy, Barclay Damon, Geronimo Energy, Avangrid Renewables, Invenergy, GreenbergTraurig, Orsted, Young/Sommer, Brookfield Renewable, Lime, Flint Mine Solar, EDP Renewables, NYSERDA, and the New York Power Authority.