Clean Energy Conference in Springfield Nov. 22 Aims to Boost Pioneer Valley Economy

Increasing our use of clean energy is a great way to keep Pioneer Valley residents' money in the Valley. Solar and wind power companies and energy efficiency programs can keep money that we now send out of our region for oil and coal here in the Valley. Clean energy jobs is the topic of the Clean Energy Connections Conference and Opportunity Fair next month in Springfield. The event is on Saturday, Nov. 22, from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the MassMutual Center. It is organized by the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Conference organizer Loren Walker notes that possible clean-energy-driven economic growth is so compelling because it's an opportunity to create local jobs while reducing environmental impacts of burning fossil fuels. Today some 14,000 people in Massachusetts have clean energy jobs, a number predicted to reach 75,000 in 10 years, according to a study by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative Renewable Energy Trust. The keynote speaker will be Bracken Hendricks, a founder of the national non-profit, Apollo Alliance, and co-author of the 2007 book, Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy. Other featured speakers are State Sen. Benjamin Downing, State Rep. Daniel Bosley, Phil Giudice, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, and Chris Kilfoyle, president of Berkshire Photovoltaics Corp.

Clean Energy Connections is intended to be a forum for the individuals and organizations accelerating the growth of the clean energy economy in Massachusetts and those seeking clean-energy career information. Pre-registration is required. For more information see or call (413) 545-2706.

by Eesha Williams, a journalist working as a student intern to help organize this conference