1st Annual Massachusetts Sustainable Communities Conference – stakeholders flock to first statewide conference on local sustainability
PRESS RELEASE Marlborough, April 2011
Marlborough, MA, was one of 53 municipalities in the Commonwealth designated a “Green Community” in 2010. Now Green Community leaders and people from across the commonwealth are flocking to the first MA Sustainable Communities Conference in Marlborough on April 15th. It is part of a larger trend of communities working on sustainability. It’s the first statewide conference of its kind.
Participants are municipal staff, business representatives, academic administrators and community experts in Massachusetts.
One of three keynote speakers is Mark Sylvia, the new Commissioner of the MA Department of Energy Resources (MA DOER). Mark was a Town Manager in Plymouth and the first Director of the MA DOER Green Communities Program.
Another keynote speaker is Jim Walker, the Director of Solar Grid-tie Projects at Ameresco. His projects include the first municipal solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in Massachusetts for the 500 kW system in the City of Newburyport. Jim is on the board of MIT’s Enterprise Forum.
A third keynote speaker is Mary Jordan, a Director of Development at the MA Department of Agricultural Resources which fosters statewide sustainable “farm to table” initiatives such as MassGrown to promote locally grown food.
Fifty speakers will present in 15 workshops. The experts include an impressive mix of local leaders: the mayor of Greenfield, the vice-mayor of Cambridge, the president of the NorthEast Organic Farming Association in Massachusetts, the facilities director from Andover, energy and sustainability officers from four towns, owners of solar and wind turbine companies, four academic sustainability program directors, MA government experts, a municipal recycling expert, and more.
Fifteen workshop titles include: “What is Community Sustainability?,” “Green Community Grant Programs and Beyond,” “Best Practices in Communities,” “Locally-Produced Energy Choices,” “College Programs that Impact Sustainability,” “Land Use and Transportation,” “Small Businesses Boost Local Green Economies” “Regional and Local Sustainable Food Systems,” “Exhibitor Showcase,” and more.
Roundtable topics at lunch will cover: Education, Municipal Energy Committees, Small Business, and Community/Regional Networking.
Thirty+ exhibitors offer an array resources from colleges, businesses and organizations such as: Ameresco, The Cadmus Group, Boston Architectural College, Northern Energy Services, Boreal-Renewable Energy, Munro Distributing Solar Division, Power Options, GoGreen Web Directory, Transition Towns, Panel Claw, Marvin & Integrity Doors and Windows, SunBug Solar, Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, Progressive Asset Management, Mount Wachusett Community College, Borrego Solar, Northeast Organic Farming Association, Peregrine Energy Group, Solar Power Partners, Glynwood, Guardian-Energy, Devens Enterprise, Aeronautica Wind, Heliotronics, MA Climate Action Network, and Mass Recycle.
According to the conference director, Jen Boudrie, “This exciting conference brings together stakeholders from all over the state who are working on sustainability at the local level. They want to hear what other communities are doing and learn what they can do.”
Businesses like Ameresco in Framingham, MA, will showcase their large scale municipal renewable energy, and energy management solutions in communities.
Academic programs will showcase initiatives such as: MIT Energy Efficiency Strategy Research with a focus on communities; Energy Managers Program at Wachusett Community College; Community Sustainability Program at Boston Architectural College; and Sustainable Development Program at UMass Dartmouth.
Boudrie says, “There are lots of reasons people are exploring sustainable development. One of the best I have heard recently is that in 2009Massachusetts spent $22 billion on energy according to the MA DOER. We send all that money out of state because we import all our fuel. We need to keep that money in Massachusetts. Likewise, when we buy more Massachusetts grown food, it keeps money and jobs in the state. People pay attention to the financial reasons, but they really care about the environmental benefits, too. It’s just the right thing to do for the environment.
The host of the conference is Green Workforce Training and Associates, founded by Jen Boudrie an instructional designer for 20 years. She is the founder of Green Marlborough, a community group, and co-chair of the Marlborough Sustainability Action Plan Taskforce. Boudrie also created the annual Massachusetts Green Career Conference which sold out in advance two years in a row.
Boudrie expects this conference will be sold out too. “Many people want to learn about community sustainability – energy, water, materials management, land use, food and transportation. Sustainable Development is complex and people want to learn more about it. I expect lots of people to leave with ideas and inspiration to do more in their own community.”
The gold sponsor is Ameresco from Framingham and the silver sponsor is The Cadmus Group in Watertown.
The Conference is 8am-4pm April 15th at the Marlborough Holiday Inn near I495. Conference details are atwww.MaSustainableCommmunities.com. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at http://MSCC.EventBrite.com. Group rates are $60 per person and college students are $50.
Ameresco to Keynote the First Massachusetts Sustainable Communities Conference
Framingham, MA – April 13, 2011 – Ameresco, Inc., (NYSE:AMRC), a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company, announced that Jim Walker, Director of Solar PV Grid-tie Projects, will serve as a keynote speaker at the first Massachusetts Sustainable Communities Conference in Marlborough, MA on April 15, 2011. As part of the day-long event bringing together experts who plan and implement community sustainability efforts, Mr. Walker will discuss how Ameresco delivers energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions to public and private institutions across the country.
During the conference, sustainability experts and community leaders from across the Commonwealth will gather to discuss the critical factors specific to sustainable communities. Speakers and panel leaders will discuss municipal energy best practices, green community grant programs, economic benefits of sustainable development and funding and technological assistance.
“On behalf of Ameresco, I am honored to address the Massachusetts Sustainable Communities Conference community and I commend the organizers for shining a spotlight on the significance of sustainable communities,” said Jim Walker, Director of Solar PV Grid-tie Projects at Ameresco. “In a time when many communities have been forced to deal with severe budget challenges, I am excited that Ameresco invests in the energy infrastructure of Massachusetts and North America by delivering budget-neutral energy management solutions and renewable energy projects that are paid solely out of energy and cost savings.”
Headquartered in Framingham, MA, Ameresco has been an active force as an independent provider of comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for facilities throughout Massachusetts and North America.
Recent Ameresco project milestones in Massachusetts include:
- City of Newburyport – The 2,000 panel rooftop solar project on three municipal buildings in the city is one of the largest early municipal solar photovoltaic installations in the Commonwealth, and produces 502kW of clean, renewable energy.
- Massachusetts State Department of Energy Resources (DOER) – Under 20-year Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with Ameresco, state facilities will receive solar-generated electricity at a discount. The five solar power systems will generate 560 kW of electricity capacity and 700,000 kWh of annual electric energy.
– Massport Logan Airport (two terminals) – 367 kW.
– Bridgewater State University – 104 kW.
– Worcester State University – 41 kW.
– Canton Housing Authority – 46 kW.
- City of Revere – City received Association of Energy Engineers New England (AEENE) award for “Performance Contract of the Year – Public.”
- City of Lowell – City installed 340 kW of solar power on four school buildings and the Lowell Memorial Auditorium and also received AEENE’s award for “Renewable Energy Project of the Year.”
- Lynn Housing Authority and Neighborhood Development (LHAND) – AEENE gave LHAND an Honorable Mention in the category of “Performance Contract of the Year – Public.”
The schedule for the April 15th event can be found online at: www.masustainablecommunities.com
To register for the April 15th Massachusetts Sustainable Communities Conference, please visit: http://mscc.eventbrite.com/
1st Annual Massachusetts Sustainable Communities Conference – “Best Practices in Local Sustainability”
PRESS RELEASE February 17, 2011 — What are communities across the Commonwealth doing about local sustainability? Find out on April 15, 2011 at the 1st annual Massachusetts Sustainable Communities Conference where best practices will be shared by leading experts, community leaders and peers from across the state.
Locals from town/city governments, community organizations, businesses and colleges will gather to network, learn what works locally, and go home with resources to help make their communities more sustainable.
The keynote presenters are Mark Sylvia and Jim Walker. Mark Sylvia is the newly appointed Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (MA DOER). He was a Town Manager in Plymouth and the first Director of the MA DOER Green Communities Division. Jim Walker is the VP and Director of Solar Grid-Tie Projects at Ameresco with projects that include the first large solar PV Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in Massachusetts for the 500 kW system in the City of Newburyport.
Among the 50 speakers are government, business, education and community leaders such as: Pat Wojtas, Chelmsford Selectman and Chair of the Chelmsford Green Initiative; Brad White, Manager of the West Boylston Municipal Light Department who has installed the largest municipal light plant array in Massachusetts; Henrietta Davis, Vice Mayor City of Cambridge; Peter Nobile, Chairman of the Concord Comprehensive Sustainable Energy Committee; Meg Lusardi, Deputy Director of the Massachusetts Department of Energy (DOER) Green Community Program; Kalia Lydgate, Director of the Green Jobs – Green Economy Initiative in New Bedford; Sara Voiland, Co-Owner of Red Fire Farm in Granby; Jonathan Kemp, President of Organic Renaissance; Tina Clarke, Transition Towns Trainer; Jerry Van Hook, Lexington Friends of the Commuter Bikeway; Susan Jennings, Director of the Office of Campus and Community Sustainability at UMass Dartmouth; a representative from the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission; and many more leaders presenting on a variety of best practices in communities.
Two companies dedicated to community sustainability are conference sponsors: Ameresco and The Cadmus Group.
They will exhibit along with other businesses such as Aeronautica Wind, Conservation Solutions, Go Green Web Directory, Northern Energy Services, Sun Bug Solar and other businesses. Among the 30+ exhibitors are experts from college energy/sustainability programs, government technical assistance programs, businesses, and community organizations.
One-on-one coaching will be provided at the conference at no additional charge. Attendees can sign up with one of eight experts from places like the MA Office of Technical Assistance, The Cadmus Group, and the DOER Green Communities program who will provide coaching and technical assistance to help improve community sustainability.
Facilitated lunch roundtables will include: Municipal Energy/Sustainable Committees, Local/Regional Community Networking, Small Businesses boosting Local Economies, and Education for the Local Workforce.
“This is an excellent event for people to connect over best practices in community sustainability,” says conference director, Jen Boudrie, who also created the Massachusetts Green Career Conference (www.MassGreenCareers.com).
“Each community has a unique set of sustainability features. Some communities have wind turbines. Many have solar arrays. Most communities are working on energy efficiency. Alternative transportation such as bike paths and local food choices are the norm in some places while others are attracting and retaining clean energy companies to provide jobs and future economic security. Each community has a lot to share and a lot to learn, and this is the place to do it.”
“Local and regional businesses such as Aeronautica Wind and Sun Bug Solar are important assets to local communities because they help build local clean energy economies,” says Boudrie.
According to MA DOER’s David Cash, “Massachusetts pays $22 BILLION a year to other countries for our energy supply.”
“It’s important to have communities and businesses invest in local clean energy. Local clean energy infrastructures keep money in the community, increase local jobs, and increase independence from foreign fuels.”
Conference attendees will include local government staff – particularly municipal energy/sustainability committee members – and community leaders, business people and academics interested in learning about local sustainability such as: energy, water, materials, green purchasing, transportation, local food, land use, and management.
“This is an excellent place to learn from experts, network with peers and go home with resources,” says Boudrie.
The conference is April 15th. Exhibits are open at 7am and speaker sessions begin at 8am at the Holiday Inn at 265 Lakeside Ave in Marlborough. The conference ends at 4pm. Tickets are $60 ($75 after March 15) and include breakfast and lunch. They can be purchased atwww.MSCC.EventBrite.com. Conference details are at www.MaSustainableCommunities.com.