Chamber of Commerce hosts summit on future of Brooklyn’s energy sector

Industry leaders gather to discuss the borough's role in sustainable, renewable energy on June 22, hosted by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
Industry leaders gathered to discuss the borough’s role in sustainable, renewable energy on June 22.
Photo by Philip Mauro

Energy experts and business titans gathered at the Brooklyn Navy Yard for a wide-ranging summit on the future of the borough’s critical infrastructure — including the outlook on energy sources, resiliency work, and new opportunities in the sector.

The fourth-annual Energy Summit and Expo was hosted by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce on June 22, and brought top industry leaders together for an ideation session touching on the most pressing issues of the era. 

Top-of-mind for the experts and entrepreneurs was climate change, and how the energy industry can adapt to modern challenges — such as financing more renewable power energy sources, promoting electric vehicles, and fostering the development of new carbon-friendly technologies.

Energy leaders meet for 2023 Energy Summit
Randy Peers, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce poses with Julie Tight, president of the League of Conservation Voters, Doreen Harris, president and CEO of NYSERDA, and state senator Kevin Parker, chairman of the Committee on Energy and Telecommunications.Photo by Philip Mauro

“Brooklyn is leading the charge in bringing green energy alternatives to New York City, from the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal wind turbines to the Navy Yard solar hub and EV charging testbeds at Brooklyn Army Terminal,” said the Chamber of Commerce’s President and CEO, Randy Peers. 

In addition to mapping out a low-carbon future for the borough, the summit, which followed the theme of “Scaling Up,” also engaged the community and the industry leaders on various resiliency projects. 

“The collaborative actions we are taking together to equitably scale up this development across the state, including in underserved communities, is helping improve quality of life and make communities like Brooklyn more resilient to the very real impacts of climate change,” said Doreen Harris, the head of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). 

Government representatives in attendance, like the city’s Economic Development Corporation COO, promised the business interests and energy specialists that they would serve as a proactive partner in the changing energy landscape. 

“As buildings and vehicles electrify, the NYCEDC is committed to partnering with industry incumbents, entrepreneurs, and government agencies to ensure power is available from clean and renewable sources,” said Melissa Román Burch.

Burch highlighted programs like the Offshore Wind NYC concept that has birthed a world-class OSW port off the coast of Sunset Park, saying that type of public-private partnership would help the city operate entirely on clean electricity by 2040, and hit the ambitious 2050 target for complete carbon neutrality.

“As we continue on a path towards a zero-emission future, the green economy will transform communities across the five boroughs — with the Offshore Wind NYC investments in Brooklyn playing a central role in helping us achieve this,” Burach said. 

The collection of thought-leaders also spent time during the all-day event addressing concerns from the business community about the challenges they face in the coming years — such as compliance with Local Law 97. 

Passed in 2019, the measure dictates new energy efficiency standards for buildings above 25,000 square feet to be in place by 2024. 

The Chamber of Commerce, acting in their role as the business-boosting entity, provided information and resources to aid Brooklynites with compliance, as well as welcoming financial guru Andrew Chintz from NYC Accelerator, which provides expert guidance on the subject.

All told, Peers called the event an electrifying success, and hailed the group’s collective efforts as the driver behind Brooklyn’s exciting impending future. 

“Our borough is paving the way for a clean-energy future that is as innovative as our entrepreneurs,” Peers said. 

For more coverage of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, head to BrooklynPaper.com.