District Energy | Spring/Summer 2019 3 © 2019 International District Energy Association. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
DEPARTMENTS | CHAIR’S MESSAGE ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
Vice President, Strategy and
Clearway Energy, Inc.
Ihope you were able to attend the most recent IDEA campus conference held in New Orleans. We set a new record, with nearly 1,100 attendees. The campus conference has continued to grow since the inaugural event held in 1988 at Princeton University, which was attended by 33 people. In fact,
attendance has more than doubled in just 10
years, a demonstration of the value that our
members see in the conferences. And while
quality content is always critical for a successful event, so is the host. Enwave did a superb
job of rolling out the red carpet for our attendees. Not only did the company provide informative plant tours demonstrating its focus on
reliability, but we were able to enjoy yummy
homemade New Orleans beignets prepared
by Enwave’s own local staff!
IDEA’s theme this year, “The Global
Renaissance of District Energy” and the
“MIST” core strategies of · Marketing · International information exchange · Succession · Technology transfer
apply to universities that own and operate district energy systems not only in North America
but around the world – as evidenced by the 14
countries represented at CampusEnergy2019.
Topics discussed through case studies and presentations exemplified two of our MIST strategies: international information exchange and
In addition, IDEA has continued to focus
on the third MIST strategy, succession. I am
happy to announce that Rob Thornton has
agreed to a contract extension. Rob has been
instrumental to the success of IDEA due to his
industry knowledge, dedication and hard work
for more than 20 years, and he is demonstrating his further commitment to IDEA, its members and the industry well into the future. Succession is also a topic within the industry as
a large portion of the workforce is approaching retirement. There is also an urgent need to
update and modernize our aging facilities. Our
physical assets – along with our people – are
getting older, and we need to plan for both!
Last, but not least, the first MIST strategy,
marketing, has been a growing topic of discus-
sion within the IDEA Board of Directors. IDEA
needs to focus on educating the market on the
value of district energy with an emphasis on
the messaging and branding of our technol-
ogy. People in the energy industry continue
to get bombarded with various messaging on
such topics as the electrification of the grid,
renewable energy, resiliency, carbon neutral-
ity and microgrids. District energy can be a key
to supporting many of these initiatives, but
our message needs to be carefully developed
and communicated so that the energy industry
understands district energy has its own mod-
ernization initiatives and is fully prepared to
meet our country’s future energy requirements.
There is a “Global Renaissance of District
Energy” underway, and it is our responsibility
to ensure we market our industry effectively.
We will have that opportunity at IDEA2019,
June 24-27. It is very fitting that the event is
being held in Pittsburgh, a city experiencing
its own energy renaissance. The conference
theme is “Energy for More Resilient Cities,”
and you will have the opportunity to hear how
Mayor Bill Peduto has prioritized moderniz-
ing the city’s infrastructure, focusing on sus-
tainability and energy efficiency utilizing dis-
trict energy and microgrids. The city is going
through a significant transformation that
demonstrates what can happen when local,
regional and international stakeholders from
the public and private sectors come together
to solve common problems.
Conference registration is open, and
exhibitor space is nearing capacity, so I urge
you to make your travel plans today. You will
benefit from the in-depth technical, operations, maintenance and financial presentations
from experts in thermal networks, microgrids,
combined heat and power, and much more. We
will also have two preconference workshops,
“District Energy: Think Global, Act Local” and
“Microgrids for Enhanced Resiliency.” The conference will conclude with local plant tours. So
join experts from around the world for a sharing, learning and networking opportunity that
only IDEA can provide.
I look forward to welcoming you to Pittsburgh and sharing the inspiring story of the
city’s energy renaissance!