December 15 • 1:00–2:30 PM
David L. Comis
Senior Energy Program Manager
Maryland Energy Administration
Energy Resilience Program Manager
Maryland Energy Administration
David and Brandon's presentation will focus on MEA's commitment to and developments in promoting resilient energy system adoption across Maryland's communities (especially those that disproportionately experience socioeconomic and environmental vulnerabilities and challenges), critical infrastructure, businesses, industries, higher learning institutions, and government facilities. They will focus on the development of the Resilient Maryland portfolio, what they learned, and how effective all programs within it have been.
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David's focus areas include solar energy, energy storage, nuclear energy, and grid resilience.
Prior to working at the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), he helped the U.S. Department of Energy develop their first Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan and supported the Federal Energy Management Program in the areas of renewable energy and technology deployment.
David’s formal education includes a B.S. in Control Systems Engineering from the United States Naval Academy, an M.S. in Management from National-Louis University, and an M.S. in Energy Policy and Climate Change from Johns Hopkins University.
Brandon manages a suite of energy resilience-focused incentive programs that help Maryland organizations develop and install microgrids and other distributed energy resource (DER) systems.
Programs that Brandon manages include the Resilient Maryland planning program, Resilient Maryland Capital Development program, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Grant Program, and Jane E. Lawton Conservation Loan Program. Brandon also works with the Policy Team on DER and Nonwires Alternatives (NWA) items. Additionally, he serves as MEA’s ESF-12 Emergency Management Coordinator during natural disasters and other events that threaten the integrity of the State’s power grid and fuel supplies.
Brandon previously worked for an energy consulting firm for commercial retail properties where he managed a team of energy analysts in utility redistribution and demand response. He has also served at MEA in a prior tenure, during which he managed several residential and commercial renewable and energy efficiency incentive programs. He holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and Bachelor’s Degree in Energy Business & Finance, both from Penn State University.
Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative
Queen Shabazz will discuss the Resilience Hub that the Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative is developing in Petersburg, VA.
Queen Zakia Shabazz is an author, educator, lecturer, and environmental justice advocate. Her work began in 1996 when she discovered that her young son had been poisoned by lead, prompting her to establish United Parents Against Lead (UPAL). UPAL is a national networking organization of and for parents of children poisoned by lead that works to end the threat of lead poisoning and other environmental hazards through education and awareness, advocacy, intervention, and resource referral.
In addition to serving as executive director of UPAL, Shabazz is a local Stand for Children Organizer, a position she's held since 1996. She currently serves as Coordinator of the Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative (VEJC) and is a member of the Lead Service Line Replacement Collaborative. Shabazz is an inaugural Community Partners in Residence Fellow at the University of Richmond, and a former elementary school teacher. As an advocate for Adult Literacy she has served as a READ Center Board member and on the advisory board of the Senate Joint Subcommittee Studying Lead Poisoning Prevention. Shabazz continues to provide valuable insight, time, and dedication towards the eradication of lead poisoning.
Queen Shabazz holds a bachelor's in business administration and a paralegal certificate specializing in real estate and civil litigation. She is also a notary public and a 2019 graduate of the EPA's Environmental Justice Academy.
Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions (FACS)
Andrea will discuss FACS’ Solar Sanctuaries program that aims to make the concept of resilience hubs a reality on the ground in Virginia. Leveraging the power of faith communities, the program will install solar and battery backup systems on faith buildings, primarily in rural and low-income communities. These Solar Sanctuaries will save lives during a time of increasingly adverse climate events and public health risks.
Andrea is the executive director of the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions. She is a committed environmental activist, advocate, and leader. She served on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors from 2008 to 2011, where she led the county’s work on climate solutions. As Senior Director for Global Warming Solutions of Environment America, she led campaigns to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible economy-wide in the United States. She is a native of Northern Virginia.
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