Alan F. Cohen, Communications Director, The Solar and Wind Expo
The renewable energy future was on display for all to see at the first Solar and Wind Expo, held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds outside of Baltimore May 7 to 9. Thousands flocked to the Expo to check out solar, wind, and geothermal devices, see electric vehicles including a hot Tesla roadster, scoot around on Segways, tour an ultra-efficient “zero-energy” home and learn about renewable energy at free seminars all weekend long. “I am so glad the Solar and Wind Expo came to Baltimore,” said Jillian Borchard, a healthcare practitioner from Owings Mills. “I went to all the booths and got ideas for how to make my house less dependent on fossil fuels.”
“I was real impressed,” said Elijah Clark of Bowie, Md. “The Expo was engaging, with great speakers such as Malcolm Woolf,” head of the Maryland Energy Administration, “and lots of great information on solar, wind and other topics – and all for only $10,” said Clark, a veterans’ green jobs specialist with the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. “You are definitely ahead of the curve and should stay there,” he added.
The Expo’s vendors, which included many Maryland as well as national companies and organizations, were also enthusiastic about the event. “This was the most successful show we have participated in this year,” declared Susan Fausnaught, an operations specialist at A+ Solar in Darlington, Md. “There were significant numbers of attendees who had already researched different products and knew exactly what they were seeking.”
“Astrum Solar was proud to sponsor the first-ever Maryland Solar and Wind Expo,” said Vadim Polikov, Ph.D., president of the Annapolis Junction-based company. “We were able to connect with hundreds of Marylanders interested in clean energy options during the event and educate many more on why now is such a great time to go solar.”
“The number of people attending the Expo was excellent and everyone was committed to going green,” said David Woolley-Wilson, executive director of the Green Building Institute, an environmental education organization based in Jessup, Md. “Going green is gaining momentum and this is a must-attend event,” Woolley-Wilson continued.
In addition to Malcolm Woolf, Expo-goers heard Bob Dixson, mayor of Greensburg, Kan., relate the inspiring story of how his town was destroyed by a tornado three years ago and is now rebuilding as the first all-green city in America, with environmental stewardship as its guiding principle. And Paul Scott of Plug In America, an electric vehicle (EV) advocacy group, explained how EVs are starting to realize their considerable potential, with cars such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt, due out shortly in showrooms, and networks of charging stations being developed in California and other states.
George Lopez, a Pasadena resident, businessman and sustainability advocate, created the Expo and is its executive director. “This event couldn’t be more timely, especially after the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf that’s shown us how perilous fossil fuels can be,” he said. “With all the technological advances, financial incentives and people wanting to save money on energy and reduce their carbon footprint, all that was missing was a place for all parties to connect…. and the Expo now provides that. We’re delighted that hundreds more people say they’re going renewable after coming to this event.”
The 2011 Solar and Wind Expo will take place the weekend of May 13 to 15, 2011, also at the fairgrounds. “Our future depends on renewable energy and using energy more efficiently,” Lopez asserted. “The Solar and Wind Expo gives consumers and businesses a chance to get a nice jump on that future while helping stimulate the economy and create jobs,” he added.
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