On January 29, Chronogram Media teamed up with Sustainable Hudson Valley to host “Disrupt! An Inside Look at the Renewables Revolution.” The event featured a panel discussion with audience Q&A exploring innovative climate solutions in the Hudson Valley and beyond. This event also celebrated the launch of the third annual Clean Power Guide—a content partnership with Sustainable Hudson Valley within the pages of Upstate House magazine.
Held on Zoom and moderated by Chronogram Media Editorial Director Brian K. Mahoney and Sustainable Hudson Valley Executive Director Melissa Everett, the event brought together clean energy experts and over 100 audience members for a compelling discussion on what clean energy and sustainability practices are currently taking place in the region and what technologies and strategies should be explored for the future.
The panel kicked off with Louise Gava, director of community choice aggregation operations for Joule Power, an integrated community power program that works with municipalities and local partners to empower communities and facilitate their goals of providing residents and businesses with clean and inexpensive energy. Gava said that Joule has been focusing their efforts on eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and climate solutions for folks that otherwise would have been precluded access.
Next to speak was Blake Jones, co-founder and board member of Clean Energy Credit Union. Jones is a cooperative entrepreneur with two decades of experience in the renewable energy industry. Clean Energy Credit Union is an online financial institution founded in an attempt to bring down the cost in financing clean energy initiatives. Through a partnership with NYSERDA, every New York State resident can get a .5 percent discount on a solar energy or geothermal energy local through the Clean Energy Credit Union.
After Jones spoke, Emily Morris, Founder and CEO of EMRGY, a clean energy tech company that innovates, manufactures, and deploys clean energy projects that utilize water as the feedstock for power generation. Morris noted that in the past decade over $2.7 trillion has been invested in clean energy across the globe and EMRGY believes that although solar power has taken more than half of the clean energy investments made in recent years and is great for modularity, flexibility, and is now low cost, if we’re going to look at a fully sustainable 24-hour grid in the next 10 years, we need to look at something else—like our water infrastructure. EMRGY currently has projects installed in Colorado and Utah with more coming in Wyoming and Nebraska as well as a partnership with GE Hydropower to sell and manufacture projects around the globe.
Rounding out the panel was John Borchert of Central Hudson. As senior director of energy policy and transmission development at the utility company, Borchert monitors and provides strategic input in all technical and non-technical aspects of state and federal regulatory energy policy. He has more than 30 years of broad experience in the electric and gas utility industry in planning, customer services, operations, gas and electric engineering management, and regulatory matters. “It’s an exciting and difficult time to be an electric and gas company in New York but the goal remains the same: to provide clean and affordable power to customers,” Borchert said.
After the panelists spoke, there was a Q&A that included questions about what kinds of innovations will be most significant for consumers, energy equity and how does that fit into the conversation of innovation, what kinds of jobs and business opportunities are there in the clean energy ecosystem, and much more.
To view our full conversation on climate solution innovation in the Hudson Valley, watch our video below.
This Chronogram Conversation was presented in partnership with Sustainable Hudson Valley.