Category Archives: 2011

League of Women Voters Municipalization Debate

On Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM at the Boulder Public Main Library, Canyon Theater, the League of Women Voters will host a municipalization debate.

This forum will have well-informed speakers on both sides and an opportunity for audience questions. Don’t miss the chance to get some clarity on the municipal utility issue before the November 1st election!

Speakers in FAVOR of authorizing the formation of a municipal utility:
KEN REGELSON, Citizens forBoulder’sClean Energy Future (CBCEF) www.renewablesyes.org
Mr. Regelson is a sustainable energy systems analyst. As the owner of Five Star Consultants, he helps
develop, analyze, and implement policies and programs needed to create a more sustainable energy
future.
SAM WEAVER, Citzens for Boulder’s Clean Energy Future (CBCEF) www.renewablesyes.org
Mr.Weaver is one of the leads of the technical modeling group for CBCEF. Mr.Weaver sits on the Colorado
Clean Energy Development Authority and the Colorado Solar Energy Industry Association board.
He is president of Cool Energy, Inc., a Boulder-based solar energy technology development company.

Speakers OPPOSED to authorizing the formation of a municipal utility:
DAVID MILLER, Chairman of Boulder Smart Energy Coalition (BSEC) bouldersec.com
Mr. Miller and his coalition are concerned about the risks and cost of municipalization. Mr. Miller is
a lawyer, long-time city resident, and a partner in the renewable energy consulting firmNew Energy
Development.
BOB BELLEMARE, Chief Operating Officer, UtiliPoint International, Inc. With 25 years of experience in the utility business Mr. Bellemare advises clients on a wide range of issues including asset valuation, financial modeling, and utility engineering issues. His experience includes the real-time operation of a 14,000-megawatt generation fleet aswell as helping to develop
some of the largest solar and wind research projects of their time.

For more information: (303) 499-4544, www.lwvbc.org

Boulder’s Power Supply: Is there an Optimal Mix for Boulder?

Wiley Barbour, Vice President, Camco North America, Alden Hathaway, Senior Vice President, Sterling Planet & Ben Vitale, Executive Director, The Climate Trust

Presentation Synopsis

Energy and climate professionals, Wiley Barbour, Ben Vitale and Alden Hathaway will discuss the different options available for the City of Boulder to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

These options include:
(1) Directly generating electricity with renewable forms of generation and retaining all environmental attributes (Renewable Energy Credits, REC’s) associated with each MWh of electricity production;
(2) Directly purchasing electricity produced with renewable forms of generation along with the RECs associated with each MWh of electricity production;

(3) Continuing to purchase electricity generated mostly from fossil fuels, but purchasing RECs associated with renewable forms of generation to offset all or some of the MWhs of electricity produced by fossil fuel generation; and

(4) Continuing to purchase energy (which may include electricity, natural gas, or transport fuels) generated mostly or entirely with fossil fuels, but purchasing GHG/carbon credits which result in the verified reduction of greenhouse gas emissions at a specified source of emissions.

The intention of the presentation is to provide a contextual framework within which Boulder residents may evaluate a long-term GHG–offset or REC purchase proposal, such as the Xcel Energy proposal, and especially to consider the appropriate mix of these four various options for Boulder’s energy future.

Speaker Bio’s

Wiley Barbouris the Vice President for Corporate Development for Camco, a global emissions reduction and project development company. As an expert in environmental markets he has spent the last 20 years of his career providing technical, and policy support to governments, corporations, and nonprofit clients on issues related to air pollution, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, corporate climate change strategy, and environmental markets.

Prior to joining Camco, Wiley served for 6 years as the Executive Director of Environmental Resources Trust (ERT), a national nonprofit environmental organization focused on harnessing the power of markets to protect the environment. At ERT, Wiley supported transactions of millions of tons of verified emission reductions while managing the world’s first on-line GHG registry. After successfully leading ERT into a merger with Winrock International, Wiley founded the American Carbon Registry which continues to support early action to reduce GHG emissions. From 1995 to 2001, Wiley served as a senior policy analyst in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Policy Office where he coordinated the U.S. Government’s Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory Program and participated in the international negotiations on climate change. In addition, Wiley contributed to the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Ben Vitale is a carbon market expert with over 20 years of executive experience in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. He is the first President of The Climate Trust, succeeding the founding Executive Director in December 2009. Before joining The Climate Trust, Ben served as Managing Director of the Conservation and Community Carbon Fund at Conservation International (CI), where he worked with the private sector to develop climate change solutions and new financial instruments that create business value and achieve measurable climate change results. He supported the development of conservation carbon projects in Biodiversity Hotspots around the world including Ecuador, China, and Brazil. He also advised governments and partners on climate change in countries such as Guyana, Liberia, Madagascar, and Suriname.  Ben has served as an adviser for Ecosystem Marketplace, the Chicago Climate Exchange, and Patagonia Sur and also has been a contributor to the books A Climate for LifeClimate Change & Forests, and Voluntary Carbon Markets.

Alden Hathaway manages Sterling Planet’s new customer accounts in the non-residential sector.  Sterling Planet offers comprehensive carbon neutral solutions for businesses, universities and organizations, bringing together supply and demand side solutions in a rapidly emerging environmental market. Mr. Hathaway has extensive experience in clean energy policy, market development and application of leading-edge technology. As Director of EcoPower Programs for the Environmental Resources Trust (ERT), Mr. Hathaway coordinated renewable energy certification, as well as energy and environmental consulting services for national accounts, utilities and government agencies. He also provided input for development of EPA’s Green Power Partnership Program.  Along with his wife Carol, Mr. Hathaway manages a 10-year-old nonprofit organization, Solar Light for Africa, that installs solar power in rural villages across sub-Saharan Africa, bringing light, power and solar-pumped water to some of the poorest regions of the world.

Macro Issues to Consider in Municipalizing an Electric Utility

Kevin Gaden, Director of Wholesale Electric Operations, Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska

Presentation

The Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) is the wholesale electricity supply organization of NMPP Energy (Nebraska Municipal Power Pool). Created in 1981, MEAN provides power supply, transmission and related services to more than 60 communities, one public power district and one joint-action agency in four states: Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming.

MEAN member communities benefit from local control over power supply options. As a member-owned organization, its member communities are the owners and reap the benefits of any operational gains. Unlike investor-owned power suppliers, MEAN is able to offer cost-based rates.

MEAN’s diverse power supply portfolio, which utilizes water and wind along with traditional fossil-fuel based sources, plays a factor in keeping rates competitive for its members and participants.

In his presentation, Kevin Gaden plans to address municipalization issues related to acquisition, operations, transmission, staffing, maintenance, and utility management. He will also address financing, power supply, and office management considerations.

Background Info

Kevin M. Gaden, Director of Wholesale Electric Operations of the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN), joined the NMPP Energy staff in 1987. MEAN is a member of the Midwest Reliability Organization (MRO) and Western States Coordinating Council (WSCC) region committees.

As Director of Wholesale Electric Operations, Gaden is currently responsible for the overall operations of MEAN real time and short-term energy scheduling and trading operations, as well as MEAN’s resource development and acquisitions, including renewable energy development.

Presentation

Kevin Gaden Powerpoint

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Municpal Energy Agency of Nebraska

Shining the Light on the Solar Thermal Potential in Colorado

Becky English, Rebecca English and Associates; Sam Weaver, CEO of Cool Energy; Willie Mein, Custom Solar; Ken May, Abengoa

Presentation

Solar thermal energy is a cost-effective, one of the most efficient forms of renewable energy available an efficient way to heat and cool buildings. According to NREL researchers, Colorado’s sunshine, climate, and heating requirements make solar thermal technologies perform better in Colorado than in any other state in the U.S. Also, the solar thermal industry has strong economic and job creation advantages: local labor comprises two-thirds of total system costs related to solar thermal installation.

According to the Solar Thermal Alliance of Colorado, “Solar thermal deployment is the most glaring gap in Colorado’s clean energy economy”. The Solar Thermal Alliance of Colorado (STAC) has formed to help spread the amazing potential of solar thermal and to advocate for increased awareness and implementation of the technology. The vision of the STAC is to make Colorado a global leader in solar thermal adaptation, installation, manufacturing, and R & D to boost Colorado’s economy, generate jobs, and help build a sustainable energy future.

Speaker Bios

Becky English assisted with the formation of STAC, the Solar Thermal Alliance of Colorado, formed in the Fall of 2010. Ms. English is a member of the board of directors of one of STAC’s sponsoring organizations, CRES, the Colorado Renewable Energy Society. She also chairs Sierra Club’s energy committee for Colorado, and serves on the state chapter’s executive and legislative committees. Her business consultancy, Rebecca English and Associates, specializes in corporate sustainability initiatives and reporting on corporate responsibility. Ms. English participated recently in an effort to gain legislative endorsement of a study of a feed-in tariff for Colorado, HB 1228 Economic Development through Distributed Generation.

Sam Weaver is CEO of Cool Energy, an energy conversion technology company which has developed a high-efficiency, low-temperature Stirling engine for waste heat recovery and solar thermal power systems. A pilot solar CHP system is operating in Boulder currently, and initial orders for engines are scheduled for delivery in Q3 2011. This presentation will focus on the development and deployment of the first non-tracking solar-thermal-Stirling combined heat and power system in Boulder. Sam holds 14 patents, and sits on the Board for the Colorado Clean Energy Development Authority and the Board for the Colorado Solar Energy Industry Association. Sam is an advocate for prudent policies on energy and the environment and holds a BS from Caltech in Engineering and Applied Science.

Willie Mein is the owner and operator of Custom Solar, a Boulder based renewable energy service firm that specializes in full service residential and commercial solar electric and solar thermal system engineering and installation throughout Colorado since 2008. Mr. Mein is an active member of the Colorado Solar Energy Industry Association (COSEIA), a supporter of the Center for Resource Conservation, the Boulder Green Build Guild, and has served on the Solar Thermal Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) for the Governor’s Energy Office. Mr. Mein is NABCEP (National American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) solar thermal installer, NABCEP solar PV installer and a licensed professional engineering in California and Colorado.

Ken May earned a MS in Chemical Engineering from CU Boulder and in 2009 and in 2009 was honored with the School of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award. In 1979, Mr. May joined the solar thermal division at Solar Energy Research Institute to pursue projects in research and development, and solar thermal technology promotion. In 1983, Ken and an associate founded Industrial Solar Technology (IST).

IST developed a new generation of parabolic trough technology and deployed a number of large scale systems. These systems proved for the first time the reliability and effectiveness of the technology to automatically deliver high temperature solar heat. The opportunity to grow IST technology was presented by his current firm, Abengoa, in 2006. Abengoa is building the largest solar thermal electric plant in the world; the 280 MW Solana plant in Gila Bend, Arizona. Seeking to drive down the cost of renewable energy, Abengoa Solar is conducting major research efforts involving DOE and universities, such as CU Boulder.

Powerpoint

Solar Themal Presentation

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Colorado Renewable Energy Society

Municipalization: Traditional and Creative Legal and Financial Approaches

Baird Brown and Christopher Berendt, partners at Law Firm, Drinker, Biddle & Reath

Presentation Synopsis

A Sustainable Municipal Utility is an energy utility structure that: seeks to achieve sustainability and reliability in meeting community energy needs, prefers energy efficiency and demand-side management to increased energy sales, and promotes renewable energy before fossil fuels. It must be smart, not inflexible. Baird Brown and Chris Berendt, lawyers with Drinker, Biddle, and Reath, LLP, will discuss forming, operating, and financing a municipal sustainability utility including issues to be managed and opportunities generated. In particular they will consider both traditional and creative New Energy Economy structuring options and processes, the overall operating framework, tax-exempt and tax-advantaged finance, the ability to foster energy efficiency, distributed generation and distributed storage, smart tariffs and environmental markets, and the ability to partner with both the for profit and non-profit sectors to achieve overall goals. The Drinker-Biddle Team will help the audience: (I) Learn how a Boulder Sustainable Energy Utility can enable affordable citizen installation of renewable energy and energy efficiency. (II) Explore how Boulder can pay for local energy development focusing on long-term sustainable infrastructure and financing. (III) Understand how running a local energy utility in pursuit of quality service, reliability and sustainability, not profit, can attract significant private sector investment.

Speaker Bios

C. Baird Brown is a partner in Drinker Biddle and Reath, LLP’s Environmental and Energy Practice Groups. His practice includes the development and financing of power plants, waste disposal and recycling facilities, toll roads, and other infrastructure projects. Baird currently focuses on renewable energy including wind, solar, biomass, tidal, geothermal, and biofuels. He represents state and local sustainability agencies charged with promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and green infrastructure. Baird is also active in climate change issues including trading of renewable energy credits and carbon credit.

Christopher B. Berendt is of counsel to the firm’s Environmental & Energy Practice Groups and heads the Environmental Markets Team. He concentrates his practice on the design and operations of the compliance and voluntary environmental markets, counseling clients on the creation and capture of environmental asset value on matters ranging from market/regulatory development and strategy through investments, transactions, project development and financing. Chris has more than a decade of experience working in the energy and environmental markets. Chris is well-versed in the current condition of the United States power markets, including the latest developments regarding Renewable Portfolio Standards (state programs and federal RES/CES proposals), the Renewable Energy Certificate and Energy Efficiency Certificate markets, standard offer service/feed-intariffs, as well as carbon and criteria emissions market positioning. Some of the most significant actors on the supply and demand sides of the energy and environmental markets rely on his due diligence regarding environmental asset and risk disposition.

Presentation Video

Video presentation by Baird Brown and Chris Berendt here.

Presentation Power Point

DrinkerBiddleReath Boulder presentation