Pace Energy and Climate Center Hosts Smart Energy Conference

Conference to explore feasibility and success of district energy systems and microgrids

Event Date: November 19, 2010

Event Time: 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Event Location: The Judicial Institute, Pace Law School, 78 N. Broadway, White Plains, NY
WHITE PLAINS, NY, October 19, 2010 – The Pace Energy and Climate Center, a national leader in renewable energy, energy efficiency and environmental impacts of energy generation and use, will present a conference on District Energy Systems and Microgrids on November 19, 2010, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The conference will be held at The Judicial Institute, on the campus of the Pace Law School, 78 N. Broadway, White Plains, New York.

The Pace conference will feature speakers from energy and engineering firms such as the Galvin Electricity Initiative, Pareto Energy, Viridity Energy, Nexterra, Burns & McDonnell, Gotham 360, and FVB Energy.  It will also feature attorneys who specialize in the legal aspects of district energy, including Robert Loughney of Couch White, Catherine Hill of Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna, and William Pentland of Pace Energy and Climate Center.  NGOs and universities, such as Green Campus Partners, Biomass Energy Resource Center, and Cornell University will also be included.  The keynote address will be delivered by Merrill Smith of the U.S. Department of Energy, a funder of the event through its Northeast Clean Energy Application Center (NE-CEAC).

Conference partners include the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Galvin Electricity Initiative, New York City Economic Development Corporation, Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.  The conference is sponsored by the International District Energy Association.

The conference will consist of four panels.  Each panelist will give a brief presentation, after which the panel will take questions.  A luncheon will be included.  The conference agenda is shown below.

CLE credits will be offered to attorneys seeking continuing legal education.  The program qualifies for four and a half practice area CLE credits.  Financial aid is available for CLE registrants.  For more information, email

General registration is $100; CLE registration is $175; Municipal Officials may attend for $75; and student registration is $50.  These prices increase slightly after November 8.

Registrants may call (914) 422-4227, or register online at

What is a District Energy System or Microgrid?

District energy systems and microgrids are two varieties of off-the-grid systems that allow a campus, office park, or collection of co-located facilities to be electrically self-sustaining.  If service from the electricity grid is interrupted, such as during a natural disaster or terrorist attack, the district energy system or microgrid will continue to provide electricity and thermal energy to its members.  Such systems typically employ combined heat and power (CHP) technology, also known as co-generation, to capture waste heat from electricity production.  This waste heat is used to supply space and process heating needs, dramatically increasing the fuel efficiency of the energy system.  District energy systems and microgrids may also make use of multiple types of renewable and alternative energy sources, such as solar PV, wind, hydroelectric, biomass and geothermal.  They may sell excess electricity back onto the grid and provide other services to the grid, such as demand response services, essentially ramping up their own electricity generation to ease demand on the grid during peak hours.  The higher energy efficiency of such systems can help New York State meet its greenhouse gas and pollution reduction goals.

About the Pace Energy and Climate Center

The Pace Energy and Climate Center promotes economic and equitable alternatives to the world’s growing dependence upon traditional fuels—a dependence that produces severe environmental, economic and social harm. These alternatives form the basis of our vision for a sustainable energy future—a future that is more environmentally benign and that attends to the long term economic needs of nations, regions, and communities.

Our immediate focus is on the electricity industry. Within this focus, we promote energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean distributed generation technologies—options that are cost effective means to reduce the negative climatic, air, water, land and human health impacts from current patterns of electricity production and consumption. Using research, education, and negotiation we reach out to individuals, institutions and governments involved in energy decision making. We participate in regulatory proceedings, usually representing coalitions of stakeholders supportive of clean energy technologies. We litigate when we must. The education of the next generation of advocates is a common thread to all our work.

The predecessor to the Pace Energy and Climate Center, the Pace Energy Project, was founded in 1987 by Dean Emeritus Richard L. Ottinger upon his retirement from the U.S. House of Representatives. His goal was to promote economic and equitable alternatives to the world’s growing dependence on traditional fuels. The Energy Project’s groundbreaking research from the early 1990s, The Environmental Cost of Electricity, highlighted the environmental and human health costs associated with the production and delivery from fossil- and nuclear-powered generation. This study led to the development of policies to include these “externalities” in resource allocation decisions and thus placed non-emitting and renewable power alternatives on more equal footing with conventional generation options.

During its twenty-year history, the Center has been active in utility regulatory matters in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, and developed a reputation as one of the nation’s leading sustainable energy research and advocacy organizations. By conducting cutting edge legal and policy analysis, combined with effective advocacy in achieving necessary market and regulatory reforms supportive of renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean distributed generation, the Center has been a major force for the “greening” of the power sector, humankind’s most environmentally significant industry.

Conference Agenda
Time Event Speakers
8:30­-9 Welcome James Van Nostrand,  Pace Energy and Climate Center
Tom Bourgeois, Pace Energy and Climate Center
9-10:15 Panel I:
What is the Microgrid?
Why it Matters
John Kelly, Galvin Electricity Initiative

Guy Warner, Pareto Energy Ltd.

Audrey Zibelman, Viridity Energy, Inc.

10:15–10:30 Coffee Break (cafeteria)
10:30–11:45 Panel II:
Legal, Financial and Other Considerations
Robert Loughney, Couch White, LLP

Karl Marietta, FVB Energy Inc.

Jim Fuller, Green Campus Partners LLC

Kamalesh Doshi, Biomass Energy Resource Center, Inc.

12–12:45 Luncheon
12:45-1:15 Keynote Merrill Smith, US Department Of Energy
1:15–2:30 Panel III:
Business Models, Can We Implement?
Jim McNamara, Nexterra Energy Corp.

Jennifer Kearney, Gotham 360 LLC

Catherine Hill, Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna LLP

2:30–2:35 Panel Break
2:35–3:50 Panel IV:
Vision for High Efficiency Municipal, School, University and Industrial Campuses
William Pentland, Pace Energy and Climate Center

Rod Schwass, Burns & McDonnell

James Adams, Cornell University

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