South Burlington, VT — More than 460 business, community, environmental, and government leaders gathered over 2-days at the 16th Annual Renewable Energy Vermont Conference & Expo held October 13 & 14 in S. Burlington. Recognizing legislative, citizen, and industry champions and innovators for their outstanding contributions toward securing our sustainable energy future, Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) presented the following 2016 Renewable Energy Awards.
“In today’s climate, it’s even more important to recognize our fellow Vermonters who quietly work every day to deliver renewable energy and efficiency value in their communities. These awards show the breadth and scope of who makes energy work here in Vermont – from local companies, towns, large and small utilities, to legislators. Truly, our clean energy transformation needs and takes all of us collaborating together”, said Jeff Forward, Chair of the Renewable Energy Vermont board.
Jim Grundy Award, Nik Ponzio – Named in honor of Jim Grundy, a REV founder, who was an exemplary renewable designer and businessman, beloved husband, family and community member. Jim was known for his integrity of spirit, kindness of soul and ingenuity and craftsmanship in renewable energy technologies, as well as a willingness to personally invest in advancing renewable energy in Vermont. Nik co-founded Building Energy and oversees the solar and heat pump divisions of the company. Nik has been designing and installing solar systems for 15 years. He lives and breathes the full energy independent vision, growing his company to provide comprehensive energy services including efficiency audits and retrofits, solar, and air-source heat pumps for customers. Nik is a Burlington resident. Building Energy has offices in White River Junction and Williston.
“The award is a huge honor because I knew Jim Grundy personally as a role model and early mentor when I first entered the industry 20 years ago. I have also had opportunity to service some of the solar systems he installed and see his workmanship first-hand. He was an excellent technician and took the time to do things right. It is no coincidence that his early systems are still working well several decades later,” said Nik Ponzio. “I strive to live up to the high professional standards that Jim set with his own workmanship, and emulate his dedication to integrity and honesty in all of his interactions with clients, colleagues and competitors alike. At the end of the day, we are all in this together, and as Senator Leahy said here yesterday, “The future of the world hangs in the balance.”
Renewable Energy Legislative Award, State Senator Mark MacDonald – Presented to an elected official who worked to advance Vermont energy policy in the state, is awarded to Senator Mark MacDonald (D-Orange County) serves as a member of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, Vice-Chair of the Finance Committee, as well as serving on the Joint Energy Committee and the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (LCAR). Senator MacDonald’s steady influence helped shape legislative and regulatory outcomes enabling continued climate and renewable energy progress over his 30 years and counting of service in the legislature.
Renewable Energy Industry Champion Award – Encore Renewable Energy, Village of Hyde Park, and Stowe Electric Department – Celebrates a Vermont company that went above and beyond its core mission to increase growth of renewables. This year’s award goes to three entities whose effective collaboration produced exemplary solar projects in record completion time. Encore Renewable Energy has helped several communities and municipal utilities in Vermont achieve energy savings through well sited, community supported solar projects. The partnership of Carol Robertson from the Village of Hyde Park and Ellen Burt from Stowe Electric Department worked tirelessly with Encore on their collaborative solar projects to bring two 1 MW municipally owned solar projects to their respective communities in just under five months.
Renewable Energy Innovation Award, VELCO – Honors a project, company, organization, or individual contributing innovative, influential, and transformative work that implements renewable energy and climate action in Vermont. VELCO is the inaugural recipient of the award for their revolutionary Vermont Weather Analytics Center. The Center is already helping Vermonters’ realize the enhanced value of renewable energy generation in our state and will deliver additional regional benefits such as improving grid resiliency and storm response.
Featuring 120 expert speakers over two days, REV2016 catalyzed solutions-oriented conversation and engagement around achieving Vermont’s 90% total renewable energy (electric, thermal, and transportation) and 80% regional climate pollution reduction goals. Dignitaries in attendance included Senator Patrick Leahy, Congressman Peter Welch, Governor Peter Shumlin, dozens of state legislators, Québec’s Delegate to New England, state agency leaders, and Gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter. To learn more about the Renewable Energy Awards, the recipients and REV2016: Energy Choices visit, www.revconference.org/.
Vermont’s only non-profit, non-partisan clean energy trade association, Renewable Energy Vermont represents businesses, utilities, organizations and individuals committed to reducing our reliance on dirty fossil fuels by increasing clean renewable energy and energy efficiency. Vermont’s clean energy economy supports at least 17,715 sustainable jobs, representing approximately 6% of Vermont’s workforce. Together, we will achieve 90% total renewable energy (electric, thermal, transportation) by 2050 in order to reduce climate pollution.