SUMMIT, NJ - New Jersey's ability to tap into new energy resources -- such as solar power, off-shore wind, and geo-thermal: -- and the cost and benefits of these alternative sources of energy will be discussed at a free public forum entitled, "Ecology & Economy: Can NJ Lead on Renewable Energy?"  The panel event will be held in the auditorium at Summit's Central Presbyterian Church October 18, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Five sustainability experts -- Laura Stern, Co-Founder & President of Nautilus Solar Energy; Richard Dovey, President of Atlantic County Utilities Authority and Chair of Sustainable Jersey; Scott Fischer, Managing Member of Ciel Power; Frank Curran, Owner of Green House Solar & Electric; and Claire Cummins, Master of Science in Sustainability Management from Columbia University -- will share their experiences followed by a Q&A session.

"This is an exciting opportunity to gain insight on the how, why, and when of renewable energy in NJ," says Susan Haig, Creative Director of CivicStory and forum organizer.  "Questions are encouraged!.  Meg Fallin Dietrich, trustee of the Summit Area Public Foundation, will co-moderate with Haig.

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To register visit eventbrite.com/e/civicstory-fall-forums-tickets.      

The panelists:

Laura Stern, Co-Founder & President of Nautilus Solar Energy, based in Summit.  Stern holds an AB from Harvard University and a MA from the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She has been an Elected Director on the SEIA Board since January 2014, serving on the Finance Committee, on the Executive Committee, and as Vice-Chair of the Federal Policy Committee.

Richard Dovey, President of the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA)  and Chair of Sustainable Jersey. Dovey has initiated and overseen efficiency projects including a 500-kilowatt solar project, a landfill gas-to-electricity project, South Jersey’s first compressed natural gas (CNG) station, and the construction of New Jersey’s first wind farm at ACUA’s Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Scott Fischer,  Managing Member of Ciel Power, an energy efficiency consulting and service provider based in Kearny. A member of the U.S. Green Building Council, Scott works with local environmental groups, elected officials, and leaders in environmental science and sustainability to develop and promote public/private partnerships that increase energy efficiency awareness to targeted communities.

Frank Curran, owner of Green House Solar & Electric in Madison, an electrical contracting company that specializes in solar installations, backup power, and system maintenance.  His team works directly for companies and individuals who need repair, cleaning, maintenance, or installation of solar panel arrays on commercial or residential buildings. An Electrical Contractor and NABCEP Certified Solar Installer, Frank volunteers with the Madison Environmental Commission Solar Task Force.

Claire Cummins, who received an MS in Sustainability Management from Columbia University. A sustainability consultant who lives and works in New York City, Cummins is passionate about helping companies, organizations, institutions and governing bodies develop sustainability metrics to set goals, measure performance, and make more informed investment decisions. Originally from Summit, she is a member of Summit's Environmental Commission and the Summit Green Team 

Central Presbyterian Church is located at 70 Maple Street. Free parking is available in the Elm Street commuter lot, and light refreshments will be served at 7 p.m.