FirstLight Power is honored to announce that our CEO, Alicia Barton, has been named the 2020 Innovation Award recipient by the Northeast Energy and Commerce Association (NECA).

Founded 35 years ago, NECA  is New England’s oldest and most broadly-based, non-profit trade association serving the energy industry, enabling a community of professionals and organizations to share knowledge, build relationships and collaborate on opportunities and challenges created by evolving markets, technological innovation, public policies, and climate change.

NECA’s Innovation Award “recognizes an individual or project team who has introduced transformational business models, technologies or policy solutions that have advanced, secured, or strengthened the energy industry in the Northeast.’’

In naming Ms. Barton the award winner, NECA President Tanya Bodell said: “This year’s awards recognize the tenacity and perseverance that moved the energy industry forward in the midst of the pandemic … Innovation has been infused into the DNA of Alicia Barton’s career in energy. At each step along her journey, she’s found a new approach to harness the power of the clean energy economy and ensure its vibrancy while being mindful of the economic justice issues at stake in its success.”

Ms. Barton, who became CEO of FirstLight on Aug. 3 after leading the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, said: “I am honored and humbled to accept this recognition of the important work I have had the opportunity to help lead alongside so many partners in charting a course to a cleaner energy future for the Northeast. The urgency of the climate crisis demands that the energy industry innovate faster than we have at any time in our history, and that we work to overcome this moment of unprecedented challenges to follow through on our efforts to deliver an energy system that is clean, affordable, reliable and equitable. I look forward to working with partners across the industry, and with NECA, to continue the hard work of making that vision a reality.”

Also being honored by NECA, with its 2020 Vanguard Award for “a substantial contribution to the development and realization of evolving markets in the Northeast,’’ is Dr. Vamsi Chadalavada, Chief Operating Office of Independent System Operator New England (ISO-NE), the operators of New England’s regional power grid and wholesale electric markets. FirstLight applauds NECA’s choice of Dr. Chadalavada and thanks him for his leadership, particularly in maintaining a reliable regional electric system through the unprecedented challenges of the past 6 months.

The awards will be presented at NECA’s 7th annual awards ceremony, this year being held as an online event on the evening of Oct. 21.