Tom Polikalis, spokesman for the Delta-Montrose Electric Association, said the conference was last held in Montrose in 2003.
“We are one of the sponsors along with SMPA (San Miguel Power Association), and we made the pitch to CRES, just like getting the Olympics,” he said. “We said if you bring it to the Western Slope, we’ll help get other sponsors.”
The event is being held at the Montrose Pavilion and will feature many notable speakers and seminars for registered guests, as well as free tours, exhibits and workshops
The conference, officially starting on Saturday, will be packed with activities, but a day-long pre-conference will open Friday with an exhibit area, free to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., that will feature dozens of displays on energy efficiency and renewable energy products, ideas and services. (See related story, page TK)
Free workshops on bio-fuels and bio-energy, as well as regional energy planning will be held on Friday, and participants can also take a tour of Ouray’s new micro-hydro installation near the Ouray Hot Springs Pool.
Registration for Saturday’s CRES conference will be at 4 p.m. on Friday, followed by a wine and beer reception at 5:30 p.m.
Exhibits will also be on display when the conference opens at 8 a.m. on Saturday, followed by welcoming addresses by Montrose Mayor Kathy Ellis, DMEA board member Tony Prendergrast, and Tony Frank, executive director of CRES.
Don Marostica, director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, will give a keynote address at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, followed by six “breakout sessions” conducted by experts in a wide variety of energy topics before lunch at 11:30 a.m.
A highlight on Saturday from noon to 1 p.m., also open to the public, will be the discussion, Energy, Jobs and Colorado’s Future by gubernatorial candidate John Hickenlooper and Bonnie Petersen, representing his opponent, Scott McInnis, who couldn’t attend because he had a prior commitment.
DMEA will hold its annual meeting during the conference, and between 1 and 2 p.m., DMEA members can cast their vote for three of the electric co-op’s nine board districts. The annual meeting will be held between 2 and 3:30 p.m., when Ken Anderson, general manager of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, which supplies power to DMEA, will talk about Tri-State’s plans to meet the future needs of its 44 members system.
More breakout sessions will be held Saturday afternoon while DMEA’s annual meeting is going on, and at 4 p.m., former astronaut and Vice Admiral Richard Truly will speak in the Pavilion’s auditorium, also open to the public. Truly is a former administrator of the National Aeronautic and Space Administration and former director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, whose talk is titled Climate, Energy, Security.
The conference dinner, at 6 p.m., will include a video address by James Woolsey Jr., former director of the CIA. Keynote speaker will be Steve Andrews, longtime CRES member and founder of the U.S. Chapter of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil.
During the dinner, CRES will present its Larson-Notari Award for 2010 to Amory Lovins, a consultant and experimental physicist based in Snowmass. Lovins was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1993, is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on energy, and is a co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute.
For more information the conference or the DMEA annual meeting, call 877/687-3632.