Vineyard Wind tops list of NECEC annual award winners

Somerville, MA – NECEC announced its annual award winners at last night’s Green Future Gala event at the Westin Copley Plaza in Boston, headlined by Vineyard Wind taking home the coveted NECEC Clean Energy Company of the Year award.

Others winners were Boston Metal and Sublime Systems sharing the win for Emerging Company of the Year, SeaAhead winning for Startup Supporter of the Year, BlocPower for Community Impact Champion, and Resilient Urban Neighborhoods and the Green Justice Coalition for Partnership of the Year. A special Environmental Justice Achievement Award was given to Leticia Colon de Mejias of Connecticut’s Efficiency For All.

The 14th annual Green Future Gala featured more than 500 leaders from the clean energy and climate tech industries. The main event of the program was a fireside chat featuring Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey and Massachusetts Climate Chief Melissa Hoffer with Boston Public Radio host Jim Braude. Senator Elizabeth Warren also sent a special video message for the Gala audience.

The awards ceremony capped the evening, reflecting NECEC’s commitment to honoring excellence in the climate economy.

“Every year the nominees for our awards get more impressive,” said NECEC President Joe Curtatone. “It really reflects the rapid growth we’re seeing in the climate economy. Vineyard Wind is in the process of installing the towers for America’s first commercial wind farm, and it will begin producing clean energy before the end of the year. That seemed like a dream just a few short years ago and now it’s a reality.”

“It’s an honor to be named company of the year by NECEC,” said Vineyard Wind CEO Klaus S. Moeller. “Vineyard Wind is more than just the forever first offshore wind farm, it represents the launch of a new industry in Massachusetts, one that will create jobs and economic opportunities, all while reducing harmful carbon pollution. Events like the NECEC Gala are a great reminder of all the different companies and talent throughout the Northeast that are trying to come together to solve the climate crisis.”

The Emerging Company of the Year category featured two winners.

“Boston Metal and Sublime Systems are perfect illustrations of our ‘Building the Climate Economy’ theme for the Gala,” Curtatone said. “Both of them are producing net zero building blocks for a decarbonized world and both of them are poised for rapid growth.

Boston Metal is building a plant to produce decarbonized steel using a fully electrified industrial process.

“Boston Meal is honored to be chosen as the NECEC Emerging Company of the Year alongside Sublime Systems, especially since steel and cement make up about 20% of global CO2 emissions,” said Boston Metal Chairman and CEO Tadeu Carneiro. “We celebrate the importance of these innovations for a net zero future, and we are grateful to have our work to decarbonize steelmaking recognized by an organization that is leading the charge for the rapid transition to a clean energy future and diverse climate economy in our region.”

Sublime Systems has developed an electrified process to produce clean concrete and is building out its first plant to manufacture it at scale.

“Sublime is profoundly honored and grateful to receive this award from NECEC,” said Leah Ellis, CEO and Co-Founder of Sublime Systems. “This is just another example of the meaningful support we’ve received from the New England clean energy community, including NECEC partners and sponsors, that has resulted in Sublime’s success as a company so far. Being recognized by NECEC as Emerging Company of the Year further energizes us in our mission to have a swift, massive, enduring and just energy transition in our region and beyond.”

In the Startup Supporter category, SeaAhead won for its support of ocean-related Bluetech startups that are diverting massive amounts of CO2 emissions and protecting vital marine ecosystems.

“SeaAhead underscores just how far climate tech and climate action are reaching,” said NECEC Vice President for Innovation & Partnerships Alistair Pim. “Our oceans are suffering from accelerating climate change, and SeaAhead is playing a vital role in advancing startup ventures that can decarbonize and contribute to the improved health of the marine world.”

“We are so honored to be recognized as Startup Supporter of the Year by the Northeast climate community,” said SeaAhead Co-Founder Alissa Peterson. “Everyday we work to catalyze, build and invest in ocean startups with the potential to create meaningful impact. Thank you to our incredible team and partners, and our own supporters who have made this possible.”

NECEC debuted a new Community Impact Champion award in 2023, designed to highlight organizations that are delivering the benefits of the climate economy in lower income communities. BlocPower became the first-ever winner of the award for its work in building electrification projects and green jobs training throughout the Northeast and beyond.

“BlocPower is a perfect example for what NECEC wants a Community Impact Champion to be,” said NECEC Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice & Workforce Development Barry Reaves. “They are on the ground, working to install efficient all-electric systems that deliver a better quality of life to multi-family housing buildings.”

“BlocPower is proud and honored to receive the Community Impact Champion Award by our partners at NECEC,” said BlocPower General Manager Keith Kinch. “This recognition is a testament to our unwavering commitment to workforce development–across the northeast and beyond. This award reaffirms our dedication to providing opportunities, fostering innovation and making a positive impact on underserved communities.”

A community-based project also took home the Partnership of the Year award. Resilient Urban Neighborhoods and the Green Justice Coalition are building microgrids in Chelsea, Mass. and the Chinatown section of Boston.

“Microgrids are going to be critical pieces of infrastructure moving forward, ensuring that entire neighborhoods have the necessary resiliency to contend with climate change,” Pim said. “Many communities are still trying to figure out how to develop their own microgrids, and this partnership between Resilient Urban Neighborhoods and the Green Justice Coalition hopefully will serve as a blueprint for others to follow.”

“Climable and the RUN-GJC team are grateful to the NECEC for this recognition, a reminder that collaborations are the key to 21st century progress’” said Elena Gonzalez, Technical Director for Climable, which is part of the team working on the project. “Our microgrid projects will allow communities to access the benefits of cleaner, local sources of energy while improving their climate resilience.”

Finally, NECEC gave a special Environmental Justice Achievement Award to Leticia Colon de Mejias for her tireless work to advance energy equity and accessible energy efficiency in Connecticut.

“Leticia is a superstar when it comes to environmental justice,” said Kristen Stelljes, NECEC’s Chief Operating Officer. “Her impact will be felt in Connecticut for decades to come from the people who’ve benefited from the projects she’s spearheaded to the people she’s educated about clean energy and climate action to the environmental justice laws and policies she’s championed.”

“”I want to express how meaningful this specific award is for me from this prestigious organization,” Colon de Mejias said.” Ever since I was a child I wanted to make a difference in the lives of people, and I wanted to protect the planet and the environment which my father taught me to love. It is such an honor to be awarded for our work on clean energy, energy efficiency and environmental justice, as well as climate education and our work in environmental justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in our clean energy and energy planning.”

She continued: “What a journey it has been, and I want you to know all of it has been worth it, every moment of the work and diversity, equity, inclusion, environmental justice, clean energy transition and climate action has been the journey that I was meant to have. I hope that some of the work that my team and I have accomplished as people of color, as women and as disadvantaged populations to inspire others to know that everyone and anyone can make a difference in the world. And all it takes is your desire.”

About Northeast Clean Energy Council

NECEC (Northeast Clean Energy Council & NECEC Institute) is a unique blend of a trade organization and a non-profit, dedicated to leading the just, equitable and rapid transition to a clean energy future and a diverse climate economy. We promote the widespread adoption of clean energy and climate technologies, driven by companies that offer innovative and scalable solutions, with the aim of decarbonizing all aspects of society. Our approach focuses on five key areas: Innovation, Policy, Climate Economy Ecosystem, Workforce Development and Municipal Leadership.

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For more information, please contact our Communications Director – Michael Meehan at mmeehan@necec.org