Pray for sunshine -- the nation's biggest solar energy conference is coming to town.
Plans for Solar 2009, the May 11-16 annual convention of the American Solar Energy Society, were announced today at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center. The event is expected to draw 1,500 delegates from around the nation and the world, and will end with a "public day" that could attract thousands more people to solar-themed exhibits and projects in and around the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.
Buffalo's reputation for cold and clouds worked to its advantage in persuading the 10,000-member society to come here, said Walter Simpson, co-chairman of the Western Sustainable Energy Association and a member of the local organizing committee for the conference.
Part of the pitch was, "Why not solar in Buffalo? If it works here it will work anywhere," Simpson said.
The committee did not emphasize that Buffalo weather is milder than the rest of the world thinks, and averages more sunlight than many Sun Belt cities, including Atlanta and Charlotte.