NECEC Attends Second Annual E2Tech Expo
More than 300 people attended the second annual E2Tech Expo earlier this month at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. Attendees were treated to an engaging day of panel discussions, workshops, and networking intended to develop strategies for Maine’s energy future. The day began with a video welcome from United States Senator Susan Collins, followed immediately by two outstanding panel discussions on the state of the energy sector at the national and state levels.
The “Post-Election National Perspective” panel sought to address how global and national issues are affecting resources, infrastructure, investments, polices, and markets across Maine’s energy landscape. Moderated by Todd Griset, Partner at Preti Flaherty, it featured expertise from Jason Smith, Manager at the Edison Electric Institute, and David Meyer, Senior Advisor at the United States Department of Energy, among others. The equally impressive “State Perspective” panel, moderated by Sarah Tracy, Partner at Pierce Atwood, featured Representative Martin Groham of the Maine State Legislature, James LeBrecque, Technical Advisor to Governor Paul LePage, and Dr. Bruce Williamson, Commissioner of the Maine Public Utilities Commission. Discussion focused on the opportunities for economic growth in the alternative energy sector and what is next for energy policies and programs in Maine.
After lunch, E2Tech introduced a “Tech Talk” session highlighting the Maine innovation and entrepreneurial community. Four startups or companies on the rise spoke about their experiences, innovations, and challenges in seven-minute TED Talk-style presentations. The companies included Revolution Research, Wood Natural Energy, Rapport, and 2016 Cleantech Open Regional Finalist Surge Hydro.
Later in the day, attendees had the opportunity to choose between different workshops over two rounds. Options for the first round included “Energy Assurance - The Role of Oil & Gas” and “Clean Energy Policy & Procurement- Regional v. Go-It-Alone Approach,” the second of which I was a speaker. As the workshop title suggests, our discussion addressed if a regional approach to energy policy can work. Second round sessions included “Transportation Policy” and “Competitive Market, Innovation, and Workforce Development.” Each workshop was well attended and left ample time for questions, enhancing synergy and understanding of these various components within the clean energy sector.
Our congratulations go out to Jeff Marks, NECEC’s State Coordinator in Maine and Executive Director of E2Tech, and his staff for another outstanding expo.