Candidate Q & A: Nate Burke, Light Commission

The following represents the candidate’s responses to the Current’s Light Commission-specific questions. Jump back to Election Guide

Years in Marblehead: I was born and raised in Marblehead and have lived here all my life.  I am a married father of two MHS graduates and was director of Marblehead Youth Soccer. 

Education/occupation: I have worked for over 40 years in sales and marketing — most recently in the energy sector focusing on lighting and control systems.

Elected/appointed offices held: I was able to provide expertise to the town by helping to facilitate a retrofit of sustainable lighting solutions for the parking lot and gymnasium lighting at the Jacobi Community Center. I have experience on the Light Board having served on the MMLD from 2020 to 2021 when I was appointed to the position by the Select Board.  

What are the most significant issues facing the Light Department and how would you address them if elected?

As a light commissioner, I would move our energy portfolio even further towards renewables – more nuclear, more hydroelectric, solar and wind. 

There has been an ongoing discussion about the installation of solar panels on public buildings. Do you feel this is a good move? Why or why not?

I support having our public buildings utilize state and federal funding to install full solar panel systems with a battery back-up. This effort is long overdue. It will take pressure off our grid. We can use the batteries to enhance our supply of energy during peak usage times which is imperative for responsible energy management.

How can the Light Department reduce its dependence on fossil fuels?

It is imperative to have a thoughtful approach toward achieving our 2040 net-zero carbon energy independence goal. We need to consider adjustments to our town’s energy portfolio to include as many alternative solutions as possible. There have been many projects promised to us including wind and solar that have not and may not ever be coming online. We need to open our eyes to see the benefits of a virtual power plant that uses large-scale and small-scale batteries to augment the grid. These batteries can be tapped when the system is in need. Please be aware that public safety is of paramount importance in the design and implementation of these systems.

Some people believe there is a divide in the Light Department between those who favor traditional methods and those pushing for more environmentally-friendly practices. Do you agree with this view? If so, how would you propose to bring these two sides together?
I honestly believe that this conflict is a fabrication made up to distract people. We all want to do what is best for our town. Plain and simple — everyone knows we have damaged our planet and we all need to come together to achieve our common goals going forward.  

Leave a Reply