9th Annual Sustainability Conference well underway in Raleigh

The N.C. Solar Center is a proud sponsor of the 9th Sustainable Energy Conference that is well under way at the Jane S. McKimmon Center at N.C. State University. The conference runs Thursday April 19 and Friday April 20, with a line-up of keynote speakers, panelists and related events addressing critical energy and environmental concerns facing North Carolina.

At the opening of the session, at 9 a.m. on Thursday April 19, Rob Gramlich, the senior vice president of the American Wind Energy Association, spoke about North Carolina’s opportunities for wind energy expansion on the heels of the report of Gov. Bev Perdue’s Scientific Panel on Offshore Energy that noted the state’s coastal areas have the greatest potential for wind energy on the east coast. Also, in the last couple of weeks it was reported that there are plans for a 20,000 acre, 150 megawatts wind farm in Pamlico County. It would generate enough electricity for 30,000 to 40,000 homes. There are also plans for two other wind projects — an 80-megwatt project near Pantego in Beaufort County and the proposed 300-megawatt Desert Wind Energy project in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties.

At noon on Thursday (April 19) Dr. Nick Hamon, head of sustainability for Bayer CropScience North Americawill discussed the company’s sustainability efforts as well as how it is strengthening the sustainability platform for the organization and leveraging Bayer Environmental Systems sustainable development initiative.

On Friday April 20, at the 9 a.m. session, Dan Peaco of LaCapra Associated will deliver an update on how North Carolina has performed five years after the renewable energy standards were adopted (2007) and what needs to be done to continue to make progress. North Carolina is the first state in the Southeast to adopt a renewable energy portfolio as part of its mix sources for electric power production.

The concluding keynote address will be delivered by John Hanger, the former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection under former Gov. Ed. Rendell. Hanger is also a former commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. , making him one of the few leaders with major policy making authority in both utility and energy as well as environmental agencies. In his role as head of the Department of Environmental Protection, Hanger was in charge of permitting and regulation of gas drilling in Pennsylvania. He led a complete review of regulations governing gas drilling and enacted major new rules governing drilling of wells as well as the withdrawal of water for drilling and the disposal of drilling wastewater. He has been a key source of information on natural gas exploration, meeting with Gov. Perdue and other top North Carolina policy leaders.

In addition to the speakers and panels, there will be three other events:

Thursday April 19 at 10 a.m. – Dedication of two electric vehicle charging stations at the McKimmon center in front of the Solar House.

Friday April 20 at the entrance of the McKimmon Center – display and exhibit of 10 alternative fuel vehicles.

Friday, April 20 during the Eco-Driving to Electric-Clean Transportation Opportunities Abound session at 10:30am, the 2012 Mobile CARE Awards will be given to all award winners.


To stay in touch with what’s going on at the conference: Twitter #SEO2012

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