Renewable Energy 2013 Conference Hits Squarely on Hot Topic of the Year:
Permitting and Siting of Energy Projects
Montpelier, VT —Vermonters like independent, local and sustainable initiatives. Following these values, the last few years have seen a strong advancement in renewables in Vermont – from wind and solar, to biomass, geothermal and hydropower. This success has brought new conversations to the table about the changes in Vermont’s landscape as we move to a renewable, resilient energy future.
Vermont’s renewable energy conference and exposition, Renewable Energy 2013: “Community Solutions for Vermont,” hits squarely on this hot topic by fostering discussion and debate over the findings of the Governor’s Energy Generation Siting Commission, the permitting processes for Vermont’s three newest wind farms, and providing scenarios for how renewables will provide 90% of our transportation, heating, and electricity needs by 2050.
“Vermonters overwhelmingly support renewables in poll after poll after poll – yet there are questions about what this means, what it looks like, and how we can get from where we are to a resilient, efficient, renewable future. REV has made this a key theme for this year in hopes that we can move the dialogue forward – towards solutions”, says Gabrielle Stebbins, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Vermont (REV).
Questions such as: ‘What does 90% renewable by 2050 mean? How much efficiency do we need? How many wind turbines? How many acres of solar? Can old dams be retrofitted? What are the pros and cons to purchasing more energy from out of state?’ will be explored.
Renewable Energy 2013 is Vermont’s premier event exploring the transition to a clean energy economy. The 13th annual conference, hosted by Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) is slated for October 28th and 29th at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Burlington, VT.
The conference spans two days and features over 25 conference sessions with more than 65 expert speakers from throughout Vermont and the region. Conference sessions will look at hurdles to implementing renewables as well as untapped opportunities, technological innovations and tools for financing renewable energy.
Day 1: Monday, October 28 | 12:00 – 8:00 pm
Community Solutions for Vermont: Planning Our Energy Future
Day One kicks off with a plenary session titled “Community Solutions for Vermont,” moderated by Secretary Lawrence Miller of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. Vermont is calling for 90% renewables by 2050. Implementing this plan demands a significant shift in how we think about, use, produce, and plan our energy infrastructure. Expert panelists look at community-oriented solutions for Vermont’s energy transition and how we can work together at the state and local levels to plan for our energy needs long into the future.
Day One also features a special session highlighting “Tools for Energy Planning and Design.” Theworkshop showcases tools for renewable energy planning, provides an overview to the “Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission” (EGSPC) April 2013 recommendations and offers an update from the American Wind and Wildlife Institute regarding how the wind industry and wildlife advocates are working to continually improve wind development to minimize wildlife impacts.
Day 2: Tuesday, October 29 | 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Beyond Edison: Moving Toward the New Energy Economy
The energy sector is undergoing dynamic change. We’re moving from centralized energy to distributed generation, from one-way to real-time energy, from finite traditional fuels to intermittent renewables. Expert energy professionals probe the legislative, regulatory, technical and financial challenges and solutions inherent in this new energy era.
Day Two features a special workshop session titled “Permitting Renewables in Vermont: Past Success Stories and Future Recommendations from the Siting Commission.” Scott Johnstone, a committee member of the Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission along with other expert speakers will solar and wind projects which have been permitted and constructed in Vermont. The speakers will highlight regulatory issues such as riparian buffers, vegetation management, fluvial erosion hazard areas, stormwater permitting, water quality, significant natural areas, agricultural soils and more.
Also on Day Two, speakers will review the successful completion of three Vermont wind projects in the last 3 years in a session titled “Vermont Wind Success Stories.” These three projects all vary in design, size, permitting and transmission considerations. The session reviews the successes and challenges of these currently-generating projects, and looks ahead to next steps.
Free Renewable Energy Expo | October 28 & 29
The event also features a Renewable Energy Expo with more than 60 local and regional renewable energy businesses and organizations showcasing solar panels, electric vehicles, renewable energy financing, high-efficiency biomass heaters, geothermal heat-pumps and more. Admission to the expo is free and open to the public. The Expo will be held in the Exhibition Hall at the Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center, in Burlington, VT. The expo will open Monday, October 28th from 12:00 – 6:00 pm and again on Tuesday, October 29th from 8:30 am – 2:30 pm.
About Renewable Energy Vermont (REV)
REV is Vermont’s only non-profit, non-partisan renewable energy trade association working to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and expanding the availability of renewable sources of energy throughout the state and region.