On Friday and Saturday, Oct. 19-20, a renewable energy seminar will be held at the Montrose Pavilion Auditorium. This seminar is free to all DMEA members and San Miguel Power Association members, though registration is required.
The two-day seminar will cover the broad spectrum of renewable energy resources. On Friday, Jefferson Tester, Ph.D., a researcher from MIT, will discuss the geothermal potential in the United States. Chuck Kutscher, Ph.D., from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and a guest at last year’s Mountainfilm symposium on energy, will also present on Friday.
“There will be a broad range of what is going on as far as wind, solar, hydro, biomass, and geothermic energy at the forum,” said Tom Polikalas, public relations representative for DMEA.
Chris Paine, director of Who Killed the Electric Car, will present energy issues on Friday evening at 6:30 p.m., followed by a screening of the movie (the screening is $65 per person or $100 for two, with net proceeds benefiting Operation Round Up).
Friday’s portion of the renewable energy seminar is expected to last from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
A host of hands-on exhibits will be available to attendees on Saturday, including a green vehicle showcase, a hydrogen Hummer, residential wind turbines, and solar energy solutions for small homes and businesses.
“There will be about seven or eight water heating companies,” Polikalas said. “Outside we have got hybrid vehicles and plug-in vehicles that charge their batteries off the grid at night, which I think will be the next generation of energy efficient auto transportation. Saturday will be hands-on for homeowners.”
Later on Saturday, the seminar will include a discussion on renewable energy and public policy at the state and federal levels.
Along with the two-day renewable energy seminar, DMEA will be hosting a Geothermal Energy Investors Forum on Friday, 8 a.m.-2:45 p.m. This day-long forum costs $90 and includes lunch and refreshments. Participants must RSVP.
“The groundbreaking news here is that Colorado was very recently identified has having the fourth largest geothermal energy potential in the country,” Polikalas said. “There is not one single geothermal electric power plant in the state. There are some hot zones here on the Western Slope, and where I come from (Nevada) there are geothermal power plants and they are located literally in our backyard. It is an industrial facility that integrates really well with the tourist economy.”
In 2003, geothermal was the third largest source of renewable energy in the U.S., with nearly 2,800 megawatts of capacity connected to the grid.
DMEA is working under contract to the Governor’s Energy Office through funding provided by the U.S. Department of Energy to advance the DOE’s “GeoPowering the West” initiative in Colorado.
“DMEA is delighted to host this forum in our service territory,” said Paul Bony, DMEA’s manager of marketing and member services. “We hope it leads to the serious exploration of geothermal resources in western Colorado and the development of a new industry, jobs and tax revenue for our public service.”
For more information or to register for any of the renewable energy events, call 970/240-1273 or email dcarron@DMEA.com.