The Illinois Renewable Energy Conference featured plenary session speakers of interest to all areas of renewable energy, plus breakout sessions in tracks on policy, technical information, and case studies for:Wind - Solar - Biomass - Geothermal - Energy Efficiency
*Please click on the red "PDF" image to open each presentation file. Speaker presentations that we were granted permission to post are linked to each speaker's name in the agenda below.
8:10 Plenary Session
Plenary Session - Panel - "Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at Educational Institutions in Illinois"
10:15 Breakout Session #1:
12:45 Breakout Session #2:
2:00 Breakout Session #3:
3:15 Plenary Session - Panel
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SPEAKERS & MODERATORS
INGRID GRONSTAL ANDERSON, J.D., is an Environmental Compliance Specialist with Facilities Management – Utilities at the University of Iowa. In addition to several campus environmental compliance programs, she is part of the UI’s Biomass Fuel Project leadership team. Ingrid is a 2011 graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law, and she received her B.S. from the University of Iowa in 2005. Ingrid previously worked on the Biomass Partnership Project and other sustainability initiatives with the University of Iowa Office of Sustainability. She also interned with Plains Justice, an environmental law center previously based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Ingrid is a licensed attorney in Iowa. Ingrid presented in the Biomass Case Studies session at 10:15 AM. PDF
DR. JOHN ASPLUND has served as Superintendent of the Farmington Central School District for the past five years. Dr. Asplund has been a Superintendent for fifteen years in all. Prior to becoming a Superintendent, he served as High School Principal, District Curriculum Director, High School English Teacher and Football and Track Coach. Dr. Asplund earned his Doctor of Education and Chief School Business Official license from Illinois State University in 2009. John is married to Julie and they are the parents of Isaac, Eli and Clara. He presented on Solar Energy in the “Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at Educational Institutions in Illinois" plenary session at 9:00 AM. PDF
KYLE BARRY is a member of Husch Blackwell’s Energy & Natural Resources team and puts an emphasis on renewable and clean energy products, including advice relating to power purchase agreements, and advises companies as they expand and pursue economic development projects. He identifies and negotiates economic incentive programs that meet his clients’ business objectives, and he guides partnerships that integrate public and private stakeholders. Kyle moderated the Wind breakout session, "Ag Mitigation Agreements: Year in Review," at 10:15 AM.
KEVIN BORGIA is an experienced advocate for clean energy at the state and federal levels. He co-founded the Illinois Wind Energy Association, a non-profit trade group that represented many of largest companies in the windpower business in one of the nation’s most important markets. IWEA merged with regional advocacy group Wind on the Wires in late 2011, and he continues promoting wind and solar power as part of the WOW staff. He has secured significant policy victories for clean power in Illinois, including new tax incentives and stable tax structures for wind development, improved markets for renewables under the Illinois Power Agency, better permitting regulations for wind farms, and new support for the federal wind energy production tax credit. Kevin presented in the Wind breakout session, "Ag Mitigation Agreements: Year in Review," at 10:15 AM, and moderated the Wind Transmission session at 2:00 PM. PDF1 PDF2
DR. SRIRAAM CHANDRASEKARAN, is working as Lead Research Engineer at Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), Prairie Research Center, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. Prior to his appointment as Lead Research Engineer, he was working as Visiting R&D Engineer at ISTC on multiple projects related to biomass combustion, waste to energy conversion and other sustainable technologies. His PhD and Master studies focused on biomass characterizations, biomass power and heat systems, and emission control technologies (BACT/MACT). He has worked on several projects with funding from NYSERDA. He is also an active participant in organizations such as ASHRAE and in standard setting for biomass fired cookstoves. Sriraam presented in a Biomass breakout session on case studies at 10:15 AM.
MARY COLLINS is a Program Manager with the American Jobs Project, where she works to promote our advanced energy economy through collaboration with academics, non-profits, business leaders, policy makers, and other stakeholders. She has presented at conferences such as the American Wind Energy Association, co-taught a course on economic development and advanced energy at UC Berkeley, and authored several reports on state-specific strategies to encourage clean energy manufacturing, with a focus on wind, additive manufacturing, and advanced materials. She has a M.P.P. from UC Berkeley with an emphasis on energy policy and economic development. From 2010 to 2013 she served in Peace Corps Panama as a Sustainable Agriculture Extension Agent, Co-Director of the Gender and Development Committee, and as a Regional Coordinator for Peace Corps Panama. Prior to serving in Peace Corps, she worked in several Smithsonian laboratories and was a veterinary technician and manager at a small, family-owned business. She has a B.S. from Virginia Tech, is a certified yoga instructor, and serves on the board of directors of a local non-profit called MESA. Mary moderated the Wind Policy session at 12:45 PM.
JACK DARIN has worked for the Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter since 1989, and been its Director since 1992. His position entails working with citizens, volunteers, public officials, business, and labor across Illinois to find and advocate for solutions to environmental problems, strengthen the membership and work of the Sierra Club in Illinois, and build a bigger, more inclusive environmental movement. He has worked on a wide variety of conservation and pollution issues, with federal, state, and local agencies with environmental responsibilities, and with business, labor, faith, social justice, and other stakeholders. Darin has worked cooperatively with a wide range of stakeholders to clean up pollution, protect natural areas for future generations across Illinois, and promote smart energy policies. He has been integral to key state policy changes that include Illinois’ clean energy policies, the permanent protection of federal, state, and local public lands for future generations; and major upgrades in Illinois’ protection of Lake Michigan and other rivers, lakes, and streams. He has been appointed to numerous study, advisory, and working groups and task forces by various public agencies seeking to craft strategies to protect Illinois' environment. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Jack presented "Illinois Renewable Energy Development Policy: Challenges and Opportunities" in the final plenary panel session at 3:15 PM. PDF
DR. LARRY DIETZ became the 19th president of Illinois State University March 22, 2014. He came to the University in June 2011 as vice president for Student Affairs. He led the Division of Student Affairs, which includes the Dean of Students Office, Student Health Services, Student Counseling Center, University Housing Services, Disability Concerns, Career Center, Campus Dining Services, Campus Recreation, Bone Student Center and Braden Auditorium, Student Affairs Information Technology, Health Promotion and Wellness, and the University Police, as well as other units. He is also a tenured associate professor in the Department of Educational Administration and Foundations. Previously, he served as vice chancellor for Student Affairs at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) for 10 years. Dietz also served as special assistant to the chancellor at SIUC and as a tenured associate professor in educational administration and higher education. Prior to his tenure there, he served as vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, among other leadership positions, at the University of Missouri-Kansas City for 15 years, and in leadership positions at Iowa State University for 13 years. Dietz earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration and his master's degree in higher education and student personnel from Iowa State University and his bachelor's degree in political science from Southern Illinois University. He attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University, a Fulbright International Education Seminar for Administrators in Germany and the Harvard Management Development Program. Dr. Dietz presented the Welcome at 8:00 AM.
NICK DREHER serves as the Policy Manager for Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and is responsible for advancing state and federal energy efficiency policies, while developing strategic relationships with energy efficiency industry stakeholders. He oversees policy research and bill tracking in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Prior to joining MEEA, Nick worked in coastal zone management and land use policy processing development permits, drafting coastal policy language and working to maintain unfettered coastal shoreline access for the public. Nick earned a J.D. and a Master’s in Environmental Law and Policy at Vermont Law School and a B.A. in Rhetoric at the University of California, at Berkeley. Nick presented in the "Energy Efficiency Economic Impact and Jobs Creation" breakout session at 10:15 AM. PDF
ETHAN ELSER is Director of Corporate Development for the PACE Equity team and has an extensive background in commercial real estate management, turnaround, development and growth. He brings a unique perspective and approach to building projects due to his vast knowledge of nearly every kind of real estate project. He understands the opportunities that PACE Equity can bring for the success of their buildings or projects. At PACE Equity, Ethan is responsible for managing and growing the company, including; corporate sales and development, market leader development and coaching, project governance with an emphasis on quality assurance and support, oversight of the company’s processes, systems tools, management and marketing. Previously, Ethan served as the real estate asset manager for Steinergroup and as assistant property manager for Siegel-Gallagher Management Company. He also worked in the banking, technology and hotel sectors while obtaining his Bachelor of Business Administration from the George Washington University School of Business. He currently resides in Milwaukee with his wife and young son. He is active in the community, volunteering at the Milwaukee Public Museum and with ACTS Housing. Ethan presented on Solar Policy at 2:00 PM.
MICHAEL ERICKSON has been the Vice President of Business Development for Community Green Energy since 2012. He leads and manages Community Green Energy’s community solar development team, which pursues projects nationwide, and has also played an instrumental role in developing Community Green Energy’s own community solar project model that seeks to enable community solar in places that lack enabling legislation, such as Illinois. Mike also directs project financing strategies and securing investment and funding partners. Prior to joining Community Green Energy, he served as Managing Director of Alignys Capital Partners and held senior management positions with Norcom Resources, Inc. and Applied Digital Solutions, Inc. Mike graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BA in Journalism and Communications. Mike presented in the Solar Case Studies breakout session at 12:45 PM. PDF
SCOTT FENWICK started his career as a petroleum chemist, managing several independent fuel labs within the Gulf Coast, including taking an active technical role on global biofuel specifications. He was previously employed by ADM as their Biofuels Technical Services Representative, and has spent the majority of his career working within the fuel inspection industry. He has over 25 years’ experience with the production, transportation, storage and use of a variety of fuels. Scott currently serves as the Technical Director of the National Biodiesel Board. He oversees the BQ9000 programs and is an officer of the ASTM Committee D02 that presides over the specifications and test methods for petroleum products, liquid fuels and lubricants. Scott presented in the Biomass Policy breakout session at 12:45 PM. PDF
JOHN FREITAG is executive director of the Geothermal Alliance of Illinois, the statewide trade group for the geothermal heat pump industry. He was instrumental in forming the GAOI in 2008, served on the initial board of directors as secretary/treasurer, and has been executive director since 2010. He also works as VP-Operations for the Assn. of IL Electric Cooperatives, where he’s been since 1985. Freitag has been involved in the geothermal heat pump industry for 20-plus years and has had a geo system in his home since 1999. He is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), as recognized by the American Society of Association Executives, and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin. He is an expert on energy efficiency and renewable energy. John presented in the Geothermal breakout session, "What Does it Take to Retrofit a Home or Small Business?" at 12:45 PM. PDF
JULIA FRIEDMAN serves as MEEA’s Senior Policy Manager, responsible for advancing state and federal energy efficiency policies and developing strategic relationships with other advocacy, utility, and industry partners. Most recently, Julia served as a Program Director for the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) where she oversaw the organization’s work on comprehensive energy planning, renewable energy grid integration, industrial energy efficiency, and established the organization’s transportation program. Prior to her work at NASEO, Julia worked for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) where she covered issues ranging from cyber security and critical infrastructure protection to solar energy deployment. In both her positions at NASEO and NARUC, secured and managed federal grants from the U.S Departments of Energy and Homeland Security as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She earned a Master of City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University and her bachelors degree from the University of Chicago. Julia moderated the Energy Efficiency policy breakout session at 2:00 PM.
EMMA GILMORE is a Project Developer for StraightUp Solar, a solar energy integration company serving Central and Southern Illinois from its downtown Bloomington location. Since joining StraightUp Solar, she has found her favorite part about working with the Certified B Corporation is the culture that emphasizes process improvement and a willingness to go the extra mile to help individuals and communities accomplish their energy and sustainability goals. Emma is proud to have earned degrees in renewable energy, engineering technology, and technology management from Illinois State University. She was involved in marketing and outreach for Solar Urbana-Champaign and has worked to bring the same level of engagement to the Solar Bloomington-Normal program throughout McLean County this summer. Emma recently joined the Illinois Solar Energy Association's Solar Ambassador Committee and would like to encourage every solar energy owner across the state to keep sharing their solar stories with the greater Illinois community. Emma presented in a Solar breakout session on Community Solar at 12:45 PM. PDF
DR. LYNN HECKER is the Manager of Expansion Planning at the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). In her current role, Lynn manages and oversees reliability planning studies, supporting MISO’s overall goal of developing a comprehensive transmission expansion plan to meet policy, economic and reliability needs. Prior to taking her current position, she served as the Manager of Economic Studies where she oversaw long-term economic transmission planning activities and market congestion planning studies. Previously, Ms. Hecker was responsible for developing the economic analysis for the first MISO’s Multi Value Project (MVP) portfolio, and leading the economic transmission design and wind integration analysis for the Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study (EWITS). She holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Missouri - Rolla. Lynn presented in the Wind Transmission breakout session at 2:00 PM. PDF
NAOMI DIETZEL HERSHISER serves as the Dean of Environmental Learning at Prairie Crossing Charter School (a Green Ribbon Award winner), where she oversees the school’s integrated environmental curriculum, sustainable schoolyard, and green initiatives. Naomi works with teachers, students and community partners to ensure that Prairie Crossing is at the forefront of the green schools movement. Prior to starting at PCCS in 2003, Naomi worked as a naturalist at museums and nature centers in Illinois, Georgia and Minnesota. Naomi received her BA from Carleton College in Northfield, MN; a post-graduate certificate in Environmental Education from the University of MN Duluth, and a Masters of the Arts in Teaching from Dominican University. When not working, Naomi enjoys gardening and cooking and preserving local foods. She is an avid nature journaler, phenologist, and botanical artist; she also enjoys running and reading (though not at the same time!). Naomi presented on Energy Efficiency in the "Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at Educational Institutions in Illinois" plenary session at 9:00 AM. PDF
JAMES HUBBARD is the Executive Director of the Facilities Division at Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois. Hubbard earned his bachelor of science in civil and environmental engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a master degree in business administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Hubbard served as an officer in the United States Air force until his retirement in 2006 prior to taking his current position. As the Facilities Division’s Executive Director, he has led the College in countless projects to become energy independent, and was the pivotal person in garnering support for the utility-grade wind turbine generator located on the main campus of the College. He continues to work energy reductions for the College, while focusing on LED and solar technologies and alternative funding to support them. He presented on Wind and Geothermal in the "Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at Educational Institutions in Illinois" plenary session at 9:00 AM. PDF
MORGAN JOHNSTON is the liaison for Facilities & Services with the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment, as well as other University of Illinois campus units, students, faculty, administrators, and community members. She is an ex-officio advisory member to the Student Sustainability Committee, which is responsible for allocating over $1M each academic year towards campus sustainability projects. She also represents campus in the regional sustainability green team and the Big Ten and Friends Environmental Stewardship Group. As the primary point of contact for sustainability at F&S, Morgan helps facilitate projects, report on progress, overcome obstacles, answer questions, prioritize projects, and address process issues. Throughout each day, Morgan advocates for furthering the University’s sustainability goals and meeting our Climate Commitment to be carbon neutral by the year 2050. Morgan presented on Biomass in the plenary session, "Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at Educational Institutions in Illinois," at 9:00 AM. PDF
CHESTER KOLODZIEJ is Executive Director of Freedom Field Renewable Energy. He has 35 years of management experience in manufacturing, product distribution, and service delivery. He frequently attends national industry sponsored advanced technology conferences including the last six National Renewable Energy Lab sponsored Growth and Investment conferences in Denver Colorado. He has focused during the last 12 years primarily on CleanTech companies and their related technologies. He is a graduate of the NREL Golden Colorado’s EnergyExec Program. He also consults for the local county government and the regional economic development agency concerning CleanTech technologies. His primary interest is in commercial applications of industrial technologies and potential company growth opportunities. His MBA is from Northern Illinois University and his BBA is from the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater. He has represented the local county government economic development agency, and has been twice been a speaker at Bio Energy Conferences in Lidkoping, Sweden. Chester is a frequent speaker on the subject of community scale renewable energy systems, and is a community subject matter expert on CleanTech opportunities. He is a very active networker both as a participant and an organizer promoting the mission of Freedom Field Renewable Energy, and the subjects of the sustainability in business development, and STEM education and training within hands-on learning environments. Among other projects, he currently is an active volunteer with the Midwest Energy Research Consortium and is a Working Group participant in two strategic roadmap projects, “Industrial Energy Efficiency” and “The Energy Water Nexus” In 2015 he presented at a Central States Water Environment Association Conference on the subject of the Energy Management Systems at the Rockford Illinois Waste Water Treatment Facility (40 MM Gallons per day processed).and the new solar system located at Rochelle Water Treatment Facility. Chet moderated the Energy Efficiency session, "kWh20: A Mashup of Water and Energy Efficiency," as 12:45 PM. PDF
WILL LANGE is Director, Distributor Sales at WaterFurnace International. After several tours of duty with the US Coast Guard, Will has been in the HVAC industry since 1995. During that time he has worked in manufacturing, engineering, product management, and sales. He is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and holds patents in communicating controls. Working towards common sense energy solutions, Will is a strong advocate for the integration of geothermal heat pumps into the renewable mix.” Will presented in a Geothermal breakout session on "Net Zero-Ready Home or Business" at 2:00 PM. PDF
THOMAS LEEMING, PE, is the Director of the Transmission Operations and Planning Department for ComEd. ComEd, is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across Northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population. ComEd is an energy delivery company that manages more than 105,000 miles of power lines in an 11,400 square-mile territory. This includes over 5,700 miles of 765, 345, and 138kV transmission with an all-time system peak load in excess of 23,500 MW. In his current role, Thomas oversees the short and long term expansion plans of the transmission grid for the ComEd zone. His team is responsible for initiating and sponsoring major projects such as new substations or power lines as well as managing the overall transmission capacity annual budget. In addition, he provides oversight and guidance on the PJM interconnection process and RTEP coordination. On the Operational side, Thomas’ responsibilities involve the safe and reliable day-to-day operation of the Transmission Grid. This includes the planning and execution of outages, maintaining command and control with system awareness, as well as responding to emergent events. Thomas joined ComEd in 1992 as an engineer in the Technical Studies Group where he performed analytical studies specializing in transient and voltage stability. He then moved on to a position where he was responsible for planning the northern and western regions of the ComEd transmission system. In 2001, he moved over to Transmission Operations and was involved in outage planning and real-time reliability studies. In 2005, he was promoted to manager in the Planning Department. In 2010, he was named Director of Transmission Operations and Planning. A licensed professional engineer in the state of Illinois, Thomas holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and a Master’s of Science from Michigan State University. Thomas is an active member of the PJM Planning Committees and is an elected member of the NERC Operating Committee. Thomas presented on ComEd's Grand Prairie Gateway project in the Wind Transmission breakout session at 2:00 PM.
DR. DAVID LOOMIS is 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. 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 Economics Education. Dave presented in the Wind Policy breakout session at 12:45 PM and moderated the plenary panel sessions. PDF
MARION "MOLLY" LUNN is Deputy Director of the Office of Energy & Recycling, in the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. In this capacity, she manages a variety of energy and environmental programs and planning efforts that save energy, generate clean and reliable electricity, and promote sustainable transportation – all while supporting economic development and job creation. Before joining the State, Molly was with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, where she played many roles, including managing technical assistance for state and local governments. Molly has also worked at the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and was a Presidential Management Fellow. Molly presented in the morning plenary session at 8:15 AM. PDF
HARRY OHDE is the Assistant Training Director for IBEW #134 in Chicago. He has been in the electrical field since 1981 and starting with his electrical apprenticeship, journeyman wireman, foreman, general foreman, and renewable energy and electrical code instructor to his current role as Assistant Training Director. He has a bachelor degree in Social Justice from Lewis University in 1977. He has been an active member of the NEC (National Electrical Code) Committee since 1996 serving as the principal member of CMP 12 as well CMP 16. He is also a member of the Chicago Electrical Code committee since 1999 and was instrumental in the Chicago electrical code rewrite. He is a member of several organizations such as the ISEA, MREA and IAEI (International Association of Electrical Inspectors). He was just appointed to the IREC (Interstate Renewable Energy Council) Standard Committee. Harry is a strong advocate for all renewable energy education and hopes to be an active member in promoting renewable energy education to all those interested in this exciting field. Harry presented in the Solar Technical breakout session at 10:15 AM with Robert Hattier. PDF
GAIL PARSON is E2’s Midwest States Advocate. Gail has spent more than 15 years in the nonprofit community in the Midwest, working on issues involving corporate partnerships, community networks, fundraising, communications and grassroots organizing. In addition, she has provided technical assistance to a variety of organizations to develop and implement successful local and federal advocacy campaigns. Gail is a graduate of Indiana University and holds a master’s degree in history from DePaul University. Gail presented in an Energy Efficiency breakout session, "Energy Efficiency Economic Impact and Jobs Creation," at 10:15 AM. PDF
MARK PRUITT has over 20 years of experience in the energy commodity markets. He assists organizations with energy planning, project evaluation, procurement processes and contract negotiations. His current work focuses on advising over sixty communities on municipal aggregation (including the City of Chicago), evaluating and negotiating long-term PPA’s for renewable energy projects, and advising on energy legislation in Springfield. In his prior role as the first Director of the Illinois Power Agency, he secured electricity supply on behalf of approximately 4.7 million residential and small commercial ratepayer accounts serviced by Commonwealth Edison and Ameren Illinois. During his tenure at the IPA, the Agency evaluated and negotiated agreements around a series of alternative generation projects ranging from wind and solar projects to clean coal projects including FutureGen, Tensaska, Chicago Clean Energy, and Power Holdings. Mark presented in the final plenary panel session at 3:15 PM.
ANDREA REIFF is an Energy Efficiency Program Administrator with the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. Andrea has been working in the state energy office for 27 years. Her main responsibilities are the Illinois Energy Now Public Sector Energy Efficiency Programs and external program partner communications. She has helped to design and implement many of the public sector programs and currently manages the Standard, Custom and Clean Water Incentive Programs, the Smart Energy Design Assistance (SEDAC) program, the Savings through Efficient products (STEP) program and the Data Center program. Prior to the Illinois Energy Now programs, Andrea managed state residential ENERGY STAR® programs, federal grant programs and provided technical assistance through the State Buildings Energy Efficiency program. She holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and has completed coursework for a Masters in Environmental Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Andrea presented in an Energy Efficiency breakout session, "kWh20: A Mashup of Water and Energy Efficiency," at 12:45 PM. PDF
TERRY SAVKO is a Land and Water Resource Specialist with the Illinois Department of Agriculture. As part of the Bureau of Land and Water Resources, she works to ensure compliance of state and federally funded projects as mandated by the state’s Farmland Protection Act. The Illinois Farmland Preservation Act requires state agencies to minimize negative agricultural impacts from construction projects to the greatest extent possible. The IDOA attempts to protect and maintain Illinois’ most precious natural resource, its prime soils that are among the most productive in the world. The primary goal is to address a project’s adverse impacts to and minimize the amount of agricultural land that is converted to non-agricultural uses. Over the past 10 years, most efforts have been spent to address and mitigate negative impacts from pipeline and electric line projects on productive agricultural land throughout the state. Affected farmland is to be restored to its pre-construction soil productivity levels. Under a new wind farm law that became effective in July 2015, the IDOA also works on commercial wind farm projects similar to other utility projects. Terry presented in the Wind breakout session, "Ag Mitigation Agreements: Year in Review," at 10:15 AM.
LEAH SCULL serves as a Policy Associate at the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. In this role, Leah monitors policy developments in Ohio, Illinois, and Iowa in addition to developing advocacy materials and coordinating education and outreach activities. She also tracks industrial efficiency programs and initiatives throughout the Midwest. Prior to joining MEEA, Leah was an Energy Analyst with Oceana working on federal offshore energy policies and interned with Riverkeeper, Inc. in White Plains, NY. She has experience in policy analysis, advocacy, stakeholder engagement, and coalition building. Leah earned a BA in English Literature and Environmental Studies from Lake Forest College and a MSc in Environmental Policy from Bard College. Leah moderated the Energy Efficiency session, "Economic Impact and Jobs Creation," at 10:15 AM.
MATT SLAGER, PE, is the Chief Mechanical Engineer at Hanson Professional Services and serves on the Board of Directors for the Geothermal Alliance of Illinois. Matt is a professional engineer licensed in multiple states and holds the Certified GeoExchange Designer and LEED AP credential. He has designed numerous innovative commercial HVAC projects for educational, government, and U.S. Department of Defense clients. Much of his professional experience has focused on design and energy modeling of high performance buildings including LEED projects and buildings designed for Net Zero Energy use. Matt presented a Geothermal K-12 Case Study at 10:15 AM. PDF
STANLEY "JAY" SOLOMON is an Energy and Environmental Stewardship Educator with University of Illinois Extension serving Northwestern Illinois. Renewable energy applications of solar, wind, and biomass have been a part of his educational program for over 14 years. Since 2009, a significant part of his work has been in the biomass for heat and power applications. As a founding member of the Illinois Biomass Working Group, Solomon continues to work on promoting awareness and developing the bridge market opportunities for biomass. His efforts included research on densification issues, presentations on local production to utilization systems, and a symposium on biomass for heat and power opportunities. Solomon holds a BS and MS in Agricultural Engineering from Oklahoma State University. He is a member Illinois Wind Working Group and American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ASABE) Renewable Heat and Power Generation Technical Committee. Jay moderated the Biomass Case Studies session at 10:15 AM.
ANTHONY STAR has been the Director of the Illinois Power Agency since 2013. His responsibilities include overseeing the development and implementation of plans to procure electricity and renewable energy resources for residential and small commercial customers who take supply service from Ameren Illinois and ComEd as well as to administer the Renewable Energy Resources Fund which is currently being used to support the purchase of Solar Renewable Energy Credits in Illinois. Prior to his appointment as Director of the IPA he served as a Policy Advisor to two Chairmen of the Illinois Commerce Commission. Before entering government service Anthony spent thirteen years at the Center for Neighborhood Technology in a variety of roles working on energy policy and environmental sustainability, culminating in the position of Director of Policy and Evaluation for CNT Energy (now Elevate Energy). He helped develop and implement the nation’s first residential real-time pricing program as well as community-based energy efficiency and demand response programs. Anthony holds a BA in History and an MA in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, serves on the Board of the Chicago Recycling Coalition, and is a past Board Member of the Illinois Environmental Council. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two children. Anthony presented "Illinois Renewable Energy Development Policy: Challenges and Opportunities" in the final plenary panel session at 3:15 PM.
SUZANNE STELMASEK is a Senior Policy Analyst at Elevate Energy, a nonprofit organization dedicated designing and implementing efficiency programs that lower costs, protect the environment, and ensure the benefits of energy efficiency reach those who need them most. In this role she supports energy efficiency, dynamic pricing, smart grid and solar programs through policy analysis and advocacy efforts. Ms. Stelmasek is responsible for monitoring and commenting on regulatory proceedings, leading Clean Power Plan discussions, as well as facilitating working group sessions for the Iowa State Energy Plan. Ms. Stelmasek sits on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Energy Network and participates in RE-AMP and the Illinois Energy Efficiency Stakeholder Advisory Group on behalf of Elevate. Prior to joining Elevate Energy, Ms. Stelmasek was a Policy Advisor to former Chairman Doug Scott at the Illinois Commerce Commission, following her tenure at the cleantech startup focused non-profit, Clean Energy Trust, where she served as Director of Policy & Marketing. She earned her M.P.P. from George Washington University in Washington, DC, and her B.A. from the University of Illinois, in Urbana-Champaign, IL. Suzanne presented in the Energy Efficiency policy breakout session at 2:00 PM. PDF
MATT STREICHER is the Assistant Director/Engineer for the Glenbard Wastewater Authority in Glen Ellyn, IL. Prior to starting at the Authority in March of this year, he served as the Wheaton Sanitary District’s District Engineer in Wheaton, IL for 7 years. He received his degree in Civil Engineering with an Environmental emphasis from the University of Iowa in 2003, and is a licensed engineer in the state of IL. He also holds a Class 1 Wastewater Operator certification in IL. While at the Wheaton Sanitary District and currently at the Glenbard Wastewater Authority, Matt has worked towards energy efficient and renewable energy projects related to wastewater treatment facilities, and recently became an active member in the newly formed Energy Committee of the Central States Water Environmental Association. Matt will be presenting on renewable energy and energy efficiency at the Glenbard Wastewater Authority. Matt presented in an Energy Efficiency breakout session, "kWh20: A Mashup of Water and Energy Efficiency," at 12:45 PM. PDF
SCOTT TESS is the Environmental Sustainability Manager for the City of Urbana, IL. He oversees the Recycling and Environmental Compliance programs and is responsible for working with the Sustainability Advisory Commission to implement the City’s Climate Action Plan and Sustainable Water Management Plan. Prior to his current appointment, Scott was the Pollution Prevention (P2) Coordinator for the Orange County, FL Environmental Protection Division. He also worked in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program for Orange County, FL. Before joining Orange County, Scott worked for the Florida Department of Health, Division of Environmental Health in the well and septic programs. Scott earned his B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his Masters of Planning from Rollins College. Scott is also a LEED Green Associate. Scott presented in a breakout session for Solar, on Community Solar, at 12:45 PM. PDF
DAN TURNER started working in the wind industry in 2009, primarily doing financial feasibility analysis for wind projects in the Midwest. He started with Windustry as a program analyst in 2010, helping plan and put on the series of Community Wind Across America conferences, and also heading the early organizational and feasibility study work for possible community wind projects in West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Montana. Dan is a principal in the Midwest Wind Energy Center (a regional resource center for information about wind), and has published studies and delivered presentations on various aspects of wind energy in a variety of venues. Recently Turner’s research has focused on the benefits of wind both as a low-cost means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and as an economic engine that can make significant contributions to local economies. Turner would like to live in a world in which Glacier National Park continues to have glaciers. Dan presented in the Wind Policy breakout session at 12:45 PM. PDF
NIKHIL VIJAYKAR serves as a Senior Policy Associate at MEEA. Nikhil is responsible for analyzing and advancing state energy efficiency policies, as well as developing resources that help increase awareness and understanding of energy efficiency program design and mechanisms for compliance with federal law. Prior to joining MEEA, Nikhil practiced environmental and energy law in California, where he represented large publicly traded clients in litigation matters, helped clients understand their compliance obligations under federal and state environmental law, and assisted renewable energy developers in navigating complex land-use, environmental review and other regulatory issues. Nikhil also has a background in energy modeling and analysis through his prior experience at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories and a sustainability consulting firm. Nikhil earned a J.D. and an M.S. in Energy and Resources at the University of California at Berkeley, where he focused on legal strategies for advancing environmental justice. In his free time, Nikhil enjoys being outdoors, listening to good music, and drawing cartoons, preferably all at once. Nikhil presented in the Energy Efficiency policy breakout session at 2:00 PM. PDF
MICHAEL VOLKER is the Vice President of Utility Services for Corn Belt Energy Corporation in Bloomington, Illinois, an electric cooperative that distributes electricity to over 35,000 households and businesses throughout 18 counties. Michael has an extensive background of 30 years in the utility industry. Prior to joining Corn Belt Energy in May 2014, Michael served as the Director of Regulatory and Energy Services for Midwest Energy in Hays, Kansas. His experience includes working for utilities, regulators, and consultants. He has testified before state regulatory and legislative bodies and before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as an expert on utility rate design, energy efficiency programs, demand response, and other utility matters. Michael currently serves as the chairman of the Association of Energy Services Professionals – the preeminent national organization of practitioners in the energy efficiency arena with over 2,000 members. Michael has received nationwide recognition and accolades for implementing energy efficiency programs and served as an Adjunct Professor of Economics and Finance at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. Michael has Bachelor of Science in Mineral Economics from Penn State and a Master of Economics degree from North Carolina State University. Michael is happily married and has three daughters, a son-in-law, and a wonderful grandson. Michael presented in a Geothermal breakout session, "What Does it Take to Retrofit a Home or Small Business?" at 12:45 PM. PDF
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