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Breaking the Ice on Communities as Viable Markets for Distributed Energy Resources (DERs)

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

I was privileged to join several climate and community thought-leaders as well as rising captains of the climate tech industry for the latest RE&IC @ Greentown discussion on July 27th: Transforming Communities in Need of Climate Solutions into Vibrant Markets for Distributed Energy Resource Climate Technologies. Aside from myself, participants included Greg King (Grove Hall Green Zone Initiative), Shonte Davidson (Impact Energy), Nick Holland (Virv), Aaron Wright (Solomon Group), Jackie Logan (Raise Green), Ellie Rusling (Micro Era Power) and Dennis Luong (Bloc Power). Julie Smith-Galvin (Greenpath Strategies) was masterful at managing a robust discourse. The roundtable enjoyed a great cross-section of attendees – that included several other business, community, academic and government leaders.

The following day, the Northeast Clean Energy and Efficiency Council NECEC and Greentown Labs held a listening/information exchange session on the municipal markets for climate-tech startups. The discussion reinforced and built upon the prior day’s perspectives. Emerging from both conversations was consensus on the major barriers faced by each key stakeholder in achieving market vibrancy. They are depicted in the diagram below.

By all accounts, the RE&IC session represented a solid jump out of the gates for an on-going dialogue that can ultimately lead to thriving “community-centric” markets for DERs. The saying - “A problem well defined is half solved” [1] is most apropos in this case. From here, Beacon Climate, the RE&IC and its growing network of resourceful members from all sides of the equation are finding ways to overcome these barriers. They are doing this with ingenuity, collaboration, agility, and grit. Evidence of this will be found in meaningful partnership, pilot, program, and project announcements/deployments. Participants universally asked for follow on discussions and networking events from RE&IC, Greentown Labs, NECEC and other organizations on this priority topic. So stay tuned.

To watch a recording of the RE&IC discussion, click here. If you are interested in getting on the RE&IC mailing list and staying informed of follow up discussions, please send us an email at with name, affiliation(s) and basis of your interest.

[1] Attributed to John Dewey

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