The conference was hosted by the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, and The Green Institute at Heartland Community College.
The agenda featured a variety of presenters with valuable information about our solar resources, technology, economics, marketplace, training capacity and partnerships for an audience of mayors, city planners, council members, and the general public. This conference was held as part of the Illinois Energy Expo at the Marriott Conference Center in Uptown Normal.
NOTE: PDF files and VIDEO files of speaker presentations are available by clicking on the items in red under each speaker name.
8:00 a.m. Registration, Continental Breakfast, and Networking
8:30 a.m. Welcome and Overview of the Conference
8:45 a.m. Keynote Address: State Renewable Energy Policy
9:15 am What Are the Possibilities?
P olicies and initiatives already in place
10:15 am Networking Break
10:30 a.m. Solar Resource and Technology
Number of sunny days, solar map, PV and solar thermal domestic hot water
11:15 a.m. Solar Marketplace and Economics
Solar Marketplace, ITC, payback, is it feasible, how it works in IL
12:00 Lunch Break
1:30 p.m. Solar Training Capacity and Partnerships
Overview of national and regional capacity building efforts in solar installer training at community and technical colleges, training centers, businesses, and non-profit education organizations, plus the efforts in photovoltaic and solar thermal training.
2:45 p.m. Go Green Aurora Program and BlueStar Energy
3:45 p.m. Wrap Up
4:00 p.m. Adjourn
Mark Burger is President and Principal Consultant of Kestrel Development Company, an Oak Park, Illinois renewable energy consulting business since 2006. Kestrel Development advises clients looking to get into some aspect of the solar or wind power business, either on a manufacturing or development basis. Kestrel is also a Leading Consultant with the Gerson Lehrman Group, and a member manager of an LLC that developes zero energy and LEED-rated homes. Before Kestrel, Mark was a sales and marketing manager for Spire Solar Chicago, and a Technology Marketing Team Leader for the US Department of Energy. He has been President of the Illinois Solar Energy Association (ISEA) since 2004, and is a Life Member of the American Solar Energy Society, Midwest Renewable Energy Association and the ISEA. Mark has a Master of Arts in Environmental Studies and Urban Geography from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Science in Alternate Energy from Jordan College of Cedar Springs, Michigan.
Julie Elzanati helped HCC create the Green Institute (www.heartland.edu/greenInstitute) in 1998 and co-found the Illinois Community College Sustainability Network, now called the Illinois Green Economy Network (www.igencc.org). In April 2010, Julie took on her current role as Director of College Partnerships for the Illinois Green Economy Network. In this capacity, she is helping all 48 Illinois community colleges develop sustainability centers similar to the Green Institute at Heartland, build capacity for green workforce training, and make their campuses more environmentally-sustainable. Julie currently serves as co-chair of the Governor’s Green Universities & Colleges Subcommittee; a subject-matter expert advisor for the Town of Normal’s Sustainability Task Force; a board member for the Ecology Action Center, a McLean County nonprofit which provides environmental education to the public; a board member for the Parklands Foundation, a central Illinois nonprofit that focuses on natural lands preservation and restoration; and as the President of the Central Illinois Chapter of the Association of Professional Energy Consultants, a statewide non-profit professional organization dedicated to education and technology transfer in the energy and environmental marketplace.
Nick Hylla is the Curriculum and Instruction Director at the Midwest Renewable Energy Association where he works in partnership with MREA instructors and other educational institutions to develop training materials and programs for photovoltaic and solar thermal system installers. Over the past ten years, Nick has worked for the Charles Darwin Foundation, the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education, and the Wisconsin Forest Resources Education Alliance developing and managing instructor training programs. He has a master’s degree in international resource management, is a returned Peace Corps volunteer, and has spent the last three years building (with a great deal of help!) a traditional timber frame home integrating solar photovoltaic and solar thermal energy systems.
Lon Johnson is the Director of Residential Solutions for BlueStar Energy. Utilizing over 20 years of advocacy, political and business experience, Lon is spearheading BlueStar Energy’s entry into the residential electric market. Lon has managed or played a senior role in ten political campaigns, including Vice President Gore’s 2000 Presidential campaign and Congressman John Dingell’s 2002 re-election. In addition, Lon has held senior positions with national political committees, advocacy organizations and private businesses. Lon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Arizona State University.
Chris Koos began his term as Mayor of the Town of Normal on February 17, 2003 and was elected in April of 2005. He was elected to his first term on the Normal Town Council in April of 2000. Mr. Koos is a Twin Cities native and attended Central Catholic High School and Illinois State University. He is a member of the Uptown Normal Business Association and served four years as President. As the Chief Elected Official for the Town of Normal, Mayor Koos has adopted the following policy priorities for the community: to encourage innovative new development with an emphasis on energy efficiency and environmental sensitivity; to revitalize the Central Business District of Normal; to pursue the preservation and restoration of the community’s historic architectural resources; to pursue partnerships with private businesses in order to accomplish the community’s development goals; to enhance the recreational opportunities in our community through the construction of new recreation facilities, the preservation of open space and the expansion of the existing walking/biking trail system; and to work with other governmental partners in the area, including the City of Bloomington, Unit Five School District, McLean County, Illinois State University, and the State of Illinois to enhance the overall quality of life that is provided to all residents of the community.
David Kennell is an Associate Director of the Center for Renewable Energy, and an Instructional Assistant Professor in the Department of Technology at Illinois State University. He has developed and taught courses in electrical circuits and machines, fluid power, automated systems, and renewable energy. He cofounded the renewable energy major with David Loomis and Randy Winter, and serves as the coordinator for that program. David is also an associate director for the Center for Renewable Energy with responsibility for technology. He collaborated with Kevin Devine to design and build the Caterpillar Integrated Manufacturing Laboratory, a unique flexible automation lab with robots, networked safety, and programmable logic control (PLC) systems.
David Loomis, Ph.D., is a Professor of Economics at Illinois State University where he teaches in the Master’s Degree program in electricity, natural gas and telecommunications economics. Dr. Loomis is Director of the Center for Renewable Energy and Executive Director of the Institute for Regulatory Policy Studies. As part of his duties, he leads the Illinois Wind Working Group under the U.S. Department of Energy and chairs the Economic Development Committee of the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative. Dr. Loomis is a widely cited expert on wind energy and its economic impacts. Dr. Loomis is part of a team of faculty that has designed a new undergraduate curriculum in renewable energy at Illinois State University. Dr. Loomis earned his Ph.D. in economics at Temple University. Prior to joining the faculty at Illinois State University, Dr. Loomis worked at Bell Atlantic (Verizon) for 11 years. He has published articles in the Energy Policy, Electricity Journal, Review of Industrial Organization, Utilities Policy, Information Economics and Policy, International Journal of Forecasting, International Journal of Business Research, Business Economics and the Journal of
Larry Morrissey was elected Mayor of Rockford, IL, in April 2005 at the age of 35. Prior to becoming Mayor, Morrissey’s professional career involved practicing law in the area of civil litigation and leading his family’s urban real estate development efforts. He is professionally licensed to practice law in both State and Federal courts in the State of Illinois and is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Association for Justice (formerly the American Trial Lawyers Association), the Illinois Bar Association, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, and the Winnebago County Bar Association. The Mayor currently serves as a Board Member and a Presidents’ Circle Member for the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, a Board Member of Community Collaboration, Inc. (CCI), and is a CEO Member of the Workforce Investment Board. He is a Municipal Member of the Metropolitan Mayors’ Caucus, the Northern Illinois Mayor’s Association, the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, the Congress of New Urbanism (CNU), and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Mayor Morrissey’s agenda for the City of Rockford includes a strong emphasis on job creation through improving Rockford’s education system, improving public safety, and making core investments in Rockford’s infrastructure; what he refers to as the four R’s: roads, rail, fiber optic ring and riverfront development. Mayor Morrissey has an aggressive and inclusive leadership style, working through neighborhood groups and inviting public participation to improve the City.
Kate Tomford serves as Chief Sustainability Policy Advisor in the Illinois Energy Office at the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO). She develops and administers programs in energy efficiency and renewable energy, manages the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council, and represents the State of Illinois and DCEO on sustainability-related task forces and committees. Prior to joining DCEO, Kate worked on energy and environmental policy in Governor Pat Quinn’s Office, former Lt. Governor Pat Quinn’s Office, and the Mayor’s Office at the City of Chicago. Kate holds a master’s degree in environmental science and policy and a bachelor’s degree in geochemistry.
Tim Wilhelm is the Program Coordinator and Professor of Electrical Technology at Kankakee Community College. After excitedly watching the Bell Labs’ movie Our Mr. Sun (starring Eddie Albert and Dr. Frank Baxter), Tim built his fi rst solar-PV project in 1963 – a scratch-built, solar-powered, transistor radio receiver – for his 8th grade science fair project. He’s been bit by the solar bug ever since. A few of Tim’s later projects earned grant support from both the U.S. Dept. of Energy (Designing a Pilot-Tested, Farm Co-op Sized, Fuel Alcohol Plant), and from the former IL Dept. of Energy and Natural Resources (Design, Construction, and Demonstration of a Commercial-Size Solar Greenhouse). Tim is an IL Registered Professional Engineer, and Wilhelm Engineering is the very first solar-PV dealer of the long-established and well respected SunWize Technologies. Tim’s fi rst professional solar project was the PV array installed on the roof of the Bloomington, IL AMTRAK station – done in conjunction with ISU’s own Dr. Ed Francis, circa 1980. Tim is also a professionally certifi ed as a NABCEP Solar-PV Installer, one of only 11 in Illinois. With grant support from the National Science Foundation’s ATE program, Tim is developing a Renewable Energy Technician curriculum and training program at Kankakee Community College – the subject of his conference presentation.