HIMC2017 Agenda: On-grid, Off-grid, Islands, Alaska, & More

The agenda for HIMC2017, which will take place in Denver, Colorado, September 18-20, 2017, promises to be the most robust, exciting, and relevant yet for this 5th annual HOMER International Microgrid Conference. This year’s event focuses on “Microgrid Lessons from Global Markets,” including on- and off-grid applications, innovative technologies, economics, and specific case studies of Alaskan and island microgrid projects — all led by the most prominent experts in their fields. Following are highlights from the upcoming conference.

Keynote speakers bring conference theme into focus

Bob Stojanovic, director of microgrids in North America for ABB, delivers a keynote speech about “Microgrids and the Rise of Distributed Generation, from Remote Villages to Complex Mega Grids.” Following Bob’s presentation, Karl R. Rábago, executive director of Pace Energy and Climate Center, covers “Microgrids and Reforming our Energy Vision: The New York Perspective.”  And Cathy Zoi, Co-founder and President of ODYSSEY, offers her perspective on “Meeting the Challenge of Cost-effective Energy Access.”

Innovative technologies drive distributed energy sector

Microgrid control systems involve cutting edge technologies and new paradigms. Speakers on innovative controls include Alex DeBroe, CEO of XANT, and Steve Drouilhet, CEO of Sustainable Power System, who discusses “The Power Tower: An Autonomous Rural Electrification Hub.” Other speakers include Nikola Milivojevic, CTO of SunTech Drive, who explains “New Solar Technology that Improves Operation of Microgrid’s AC Motor Loads.”

Alaska, microgrids’ first frontier

Alaska is a prime example of cold-weather microgrids as well as addressing issues of energy poverty in remote regions. The panel discussion focuses on lessons from 20 years of hybrid microgrids in Alaska and is moderated by Ian Baring Gould, technology deployment manager at NREL. The panel features a video introduction by Senator Lisa Murkowski as well as insights from Nathan Adams, director of technology and business development, microgrids and renewable automation, at ABB

Island microgrids around the world

The island microgrid discussion includes Kaitlyn Bunker, Ph.D., manager, and Owen Lewis, operations manager, at the Rocky Mountain Institute, Island Energy Program, who share their experience “Developing Island Microgrids in the Carribean.” Also participating are Juergen Zimmerman, business development & technology manager at ABB, Herb Wade, independent energy consultant to Pacific Island governments and utilities, who speaks to “Rural Electrification by Solar PV Mini-Grids in the Pacific Islands.”

On-grid case studies from the U.S. to China and back

HIMC2017’s roster of on-grid case study presenters is impressive in both number and scope, reflecting the world’s movement toward distributed energy. Eric Martinot, director of the Global Initiative for Distributed and Local Energy (DALE), covers “Microgrids and Distributed Energy in China: Business, Policy, and Planning Models for Scale-Up.”  Elad Shaviv, CEO at NakiTech and CEO of Israel Smart Energy Association, offers his vision of “Redefining ROI with Improved Control of Existing Assets.” President & CEO of Uni Energy Technologies (UET) Rick Winter  addresses “Enabling PV as the Primary Energy Source in MW-Scale Microgrids.” Laura Nova, graduate student in the Advanced Power & Energy Program at the University of California, Irvine, also presents her unique perspective on the topic.

Adding to the on-grid conversation, Matt Ellenberger, director of sales at Bosch, explains “Synchronizing Distributed Energy Resources using Direct Current (DC) Microgrids.”   PVI Construction and Maintenance Project Manager Sandra Vanderstoep brings attendees to “Crossing the Chasm to Market Adoption.” And Jim Dodenhoff, regional business development director – West at IPERC, gives the key to “Unlocking and Delivering Value: How a Distributed Microgrid Control System Manages Multiple Use Cases and Contingencies.”

Off-the-grid case studies in Africa and Haiti

Off-grid solutions to global energy poverty are moving forward in the developing world and providing critical data for future undertakings. Hiwot Digafe Berihun, assistant professor, and Venkata Ramayya Ancha, professor of sustainable energy, Jimma University, speak about “Life Cycle Energy Analysis on Microgrid System for Sustainability: A Case Study on the Microgrid Power Plant at Adama Town, Ethiopia.” Juliet Mawunyo Gbormittah, electrical engineer, Kwame Knrumah University of Science & Technology, addresses “A Comparative Study of Solar Home Systems & Diesel Generators in Ghana’s Urban Towns.”  Samuel Babalola, student,  Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences discusses “Design & Optimization of Off-Grid Solar PV/Diesel Hybrid Power Systems for Remote Micro Base Transceiver Stations – In Nigeria.” Paul Nkumbula, project coordinator at Mpana Solar Mini Grid Project, Zambia, covers “Discovering the True Potential of Deploying Microgrids in Rural Off-Grid Markets.” And Sigora Haiti’s VP of Operations Drew Lebowitz brings “‘Moun yo swaf Kouran’/’People are thirsty for power’ – A Case Study of Sigora Haiti.”

Finance panel discussion: challenges and opportunities

The finance panel is a conversation regarding the challenges and opportunities of financing microgrids and energy storage, both nationally and internationally. The world class experts on this panel have worked on the finance of small village level microgrids to large utility scale projects in the United States.  The panel will offer unique insight into the requirements of investors and how citizens and developers can get their projects financed. The panel includes Mark Crowdis (moderator), partner and co-founder of 127 Energy, Marc Lopata, president of Aziumuth Energy, Alexa Kelly, CEO of Electric Capital Management and managing advisor at Allotrope Partners, and Ali Amirali, senior vice president of Starwood Energy Group.

To register for HIMC2017 (early-bird pricing has been extended through August 11), visit the conference website.

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