New Bedford Hosting Mayor’s Summit on Smart Cities and Energy Technologies
NEW BEDFORD — New Bedford will host a national mayors’ summit on smart cities and energy technologies September 14-15, an event sponsored by The U.S. Conference of Mayors Energy Policy Committee, which is chaired by New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell.
About 20 mayors, along with industry experts and other policy leaders from across the country, will participate in this convening, themed “How Mayors Are Using New Energy Technologies and Partnerships to Power Smart Cities.”
Sessions at the two-day event will feature city case studies and presentations on the growth of smart cities, business partnerships for a new energy economy, energy infrastructure, and energy assurance and preparedness, as well as discussions on achieving the 100-percent mayoral renewable energy commitment, with sessions recognizing New Bedford and its many efforts over the past several years as a leader in renewable energy including solar, wind, and green innovation.
“The decision by the U.S. Conference of Mayors to hold its national energy meeting here is a validation of New Bedford’s leadership in renewable energy. And the meeting is timely, as we’ve entered an era in which the responsibility of continuing the renewable energy revolution falls increasingly on cities,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “The meeting will be an opportunity for mayors to share ideas about new technologies and programs, set national policy goals, and recommit ourselves to a more sustainable America. I’m proud to welcome mayors from around the country to New Bedford for this important forum, and hope they will enjoy what our city has to offer.”
Mayor Mitchell, as chair of the Conference of Mayors’ energy panel, will lead mayoral discussions on a national infrastructure investment plan and how to address press energy infrastructure issues in this package, which Congress and the Administration are expected to consider early in 2018.
“Conference President New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has asked Mayor Mitchell to bring mayors together to craft recommendations to help guide Congress as it develops a national infrastructure plan that addresses our energy infrastructure challenges along with water, transportation including ports, and other infrastructure needs,” said Conference CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran. “We are so fortunate to have Mayor Mitchell leading this mayoral effort and responding to this directive, especially during these most challenging times.”
The City of New Bedford has more installed solar capacity on a per capita basis than any other city in the continental United States besides San Diego, with ten major solar installations totaling more than $60 million in privately-financed construction, investments that will save city taxpayers $22 million in reduced energy costs over 20 years.
With the state and federal government now moving to develop large offshore wind turbine farms, the mayoral meeting brings together industry leaders in this field, including Denmark-based DONG Energy (Bay State Wind), Vineyard Wind, Deepwater Wind and Siemens, who are now looking to the city’s port as a location to stage future wind projects. A key advantage of New Bedford’s port is a $100 million marine terminal built specifically to handle the heavy loads of turbine components.
In addition to its efforts to advance offshore wind energy, the City of New Bedford boasts the largest municipal electric car fleet in Massachusetts, New Bedford’s municipal landfill hosts two separate waste-to-energy projects which convert landfill gases and biogas into 3.4 megawatts of electricity annually, with plans for future expansion. The city recently undertook one of the largest performance-contracting initiatives anywhere in the Northeast, partnering with Siemens Corporation to retrofit nearly 100 municipal buildings with energy efficiency measures, including heating and cooling systems and climate controls.
Joining Mitchell at the mayors’ summit are Gresham, OR Mayor Shane Bemis; Elizabeth, NJ Mayor Christian Bollwage; Fall River, MA Mayor Jasiel F. Correia II; Nashua, NH Mayor Jim Donchess; Providence, RI Mayor Jorge Elorza; Bridgeport, CT Mayor Joseph Ganim; New Haven, CT Mayor Toni Harp; Schenectady, NY Mayor Gary McCarthy; Findlay, OH Mayor Lydia Mihalik; Holyoke, MA Mayor Alex Morse; Baltimore, MD Mayor Catherine Pugh; Norwalk, CT Mayor Harry Rilling; Portland, ME Mayor Ethan Strimling; Mount Vernon, NY Mayor Richard Thomas; Piscataway Township, NJ Mayor Brian Wahler; Newton, MA Mayor Setti Warren; and Denton, TX Mayor Chris Watts.
--City of New Bedford