Energypath 2019 in Review

Energypath 2019 was held at DeSales University in Center Valley, PA on Thursday, July 25th, 2019. More than 240 industry and aspiring industry professionals attended the conference to learn about the future of energy financing from nationally recognized energy industry experts. The conference was preceded by a series of energy camps which were largely attended by students and educators who received scholarships to attend.

The Energy Camps

The energy camps were held Monday July 22nd through Wednesday, July 24th, 2019 and focused on four topics: Energy Regulation and Policy, Solar PV, Bioenergy, and an Introduction to Sustainable Energy. The students and educators in attendance, some of whom traveled internationally to attend, represented 46 different colleges and universities. Each attendee chose one of the four camp topics offered and attended classroom style and hands-on sessions over the course of the three days. Energy Policy camp attendees heard from nine guest speakers, all experts in the fields of energy policy and regulation. Solar PV attendees learned about the future of solar and built a solar array, which they used to charge an electric car and power a popcorn machine. Bioenergy attendees made biogas out of sunflower and hemp seeds and burned the fuel to make s’mores. Introduction to Sustainable Energy attendees learned the basics about multiple facets of the sustainable energy industry in classroom style sessions.

In addition to the camps, a variety of workshops and tours were held in the mornings and evenings during these three days to add value to the attendees’ experiences. Attendees heard from industry experts on their experience breaking into the energy industry during a career development seminar and honed their networking skills in a Networking 101 workshop. Some attendees also learned about the sustainability efforts being made by Martin Guitar during a tour of their facility while others toured nearby Lutron Electronics, a leader in the lighting control industry.

The Energypath Conference

Opening, Lunch, and Breakout Sessions

After the pre-conference energy camps concluded, scholarship recipients were joined by 150 industry professionals for the Energypath 2019 Conference. The conference began with an opening keynote presented by Peter Krajsa and Matthew Brown of National Energy Improvement Fund, LLC, who spoke about innovations in energy financing. The sessions following the opening keynote were broken out into four tracks and included topics such as “C-PACE Guidelines for Pennsylvania“, “Green Bank for PA: Non-Profit Banking“, and “Financing Instruments Pros and Cons“. Notable speakers included Anna Siefken of The Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation at Carnegie Mellon, Elyssa Rothe and Jessica Bailey of Greenworks Lending, Rob Altenburg of PennFuture, and Joe Nunley of UGI.

Continuing education credits and professional development hours were offered by Building Performance Institute (BPI) and Lehigh Valley Association of Energy Engineers (LV AEE) respectively for several of the breakout sessions. Learning units were also approved for many of the sessions by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). For the C-PACE track, Sustainable Energy Fund also offered a C-PACE Certificate, which is unique to the Energypath Conference.

A panel was held during lunch to discuss national impacts and trends in the PACE program. Sean Williamson of the Department of Energy moderated the panel which featured Abby Johnson of Abacus Property Solutions, Jessica Bailey of Greenworks Lending, and Cliff Kellogg of C-PACE Alliance.

Expo and Science Fair

In addition to the sessions, there was an expo and a science fair held at the conference. There were 20 exhibitors present at the expo for attendees to visit in between sessions.
The science fair was held for middle and high school aged students. Participants competed for prizes ranging from $250 (third place) to $1,250 (first place). Project topics were related to energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable energy resources.

     Middle school winners

  • 1st place: Jack Hasker from Nazareth Area Middle School
  • 2nd place: Alycea McBride from McBride Homeschool

     High school winners

  • 1st place: Marjorie Romero from Wilson High School
  • 2nd place: Dharshan Tharumia from Parkland High School
  • 3rd place (tie): Cody McBride from McBride Homeschool
  • 3rd place (tie): Kyleigh Groff from Milton Hershey School

Keynote Speaker John Boecker of 7Group LLC

SEF was thrilled to have John Boecker as our keynote speaker to discuss regenerative development, especially since we are in the process of transitioning to a regenerative business model. Mr. Boecker serves as a founding partner in 7group LLC, an internationally recognized multi-disciplinary consulting firm focused on integrative process and regenerative development. As an architect, his practice has focused exclusively on green buildings since 1996. John has facilitated workshops or lectured on the benefits of green buildings, integrative design, and regenerative development in 35 states and 14 countries.

Epstein Award Winner Brent Alderfer

The Conference ended with the presentation of the 2019 Epstein Lifetime Achievement Award to Brent Alderfer of Community Energy Inc. The Epstein Award is presented to a deserving individual each year for a lifetime of work in moving society towards a sustainable energy future. Brent Alderfer is the CEO and Founder of Community Energy Inc. Under his leadership, the company led the introduction of wind and solar generation at scale in new markets across the United States. Alderfer is well known for his vision in moving the electric grid toward carbon-free generation.

Thank you to everyone who helped make Energypath 2019 a success!