TREEDC McKenzie Mayor Jenny Wright, Carroll County Mayor Kenny McBride, Bethel University President Dr. Robert Prosser, Warren Nevad, UT-MTAS; TREEDC Huntingdon Mayor Dale Kelly
TREEDC Mayors McKenzie Mayor Jill Holland, Carroll County Mayor Kenny McBride and Huntingdon Mayor Dale Kelley recently organized a forum held on May 17, 2013 at Bethel University. A total of 51 interested attendees heard presentations from the Tennessee Technology of McKenzie, Tennessee Gas Association, Mid South Compressed Natural gas Vehicles (CNGV), Maynard Select, ARiES Energy and PHG Energy.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s (TDEC) Energy Education Initiative also sponsored an afternoon workshop consisting of energy efficiency and grant writing tips for the attendees. The TREEDC-Bethel University was the second out of 5 forums organized under the Tennessee Energy Education Initiative. This Initiative will be delivered in connection with TREEDC Diamond Member Pathway Lending and other statewide energy resource providers and will provide in depth training and educational tools. Lori Munkeboe, Director of TDEC Office of Sustainable Practices stated in her keynote presentation that great customer service makes it possible to fulfill TDEC’S mission, and is a priority for Governor Haslam and will make TDEC more effective.
During the morning session of the forum, Bethel University President Dr. Robert Prosser stated that Bethel University has experienced the highest percentage of growth in student enrollment for any private university in Tennessee. Students are also afforded new laptop computers to help them with their studies. Bruce Moore of the Tennessee Technology of McKenzie gave a thorough overview of the school’s solar training and other renewable energy initiatives. His presentation along with the other powerpoints from this forum will be available at http://www.treedc.us/newsletters_reports/forum_presentations/index.html.
Katie Southworth and Pete Westerholm of TDEC shared details of the state’s qualified energy conservation bond program which has a $64 million dollar allocation.
Pat Riley with TREEDC Gold Member Tennessee Gas Association gave a thorough presentation about the environmental and economic benefits of natural gas for fleets. Mr. Riley informed the attendees that the TREEDC Mayors and TGA were working closely together to support a network on Compressed Natural Gas stations for public and private fleets across Tennessee. Dwain Beydler with Mid South CNGV stated that small business fleets can save at least $2.00 a gallon of fuel by converting to Compressed Natural Gas. Chris Koczaja, PHG Energy Vice President of Sales & Engineering presented a powerpoint presentation that illustrated how PHG Energy converts wastes to energy. He stressed that the PHG Energy does not use incineration. Their scalable downdraft gasifier converts crop residues, scrap tires and sludge into syngas. The key is to having feedstock with 30 percent or less moisture. This process can offer clean carbon neutral energy solutions to waste disposal costs. The Covington Wastewater project will divert over 300 tons/month diverted from landfill and save over 452 tons of CO2 Emissions per year. The project is expected to be completed in August 2013. Billy Gibson, Director of Engineering with TREEDC Member Maynard Select Geothermal & Solar explained the environmental and economic benefits of solar energy. Harvey Abouelata of ARiES Energy gave an update regarding the cellulose to hydrogen processor to supply energy to Wampler’s Sausage in Lenoir City. Mary Shaffer Gill of ARiES Energy gave several grant program tips to help secure funding for renewable energy projects. Olin Ivey gave an update on the TREEDC Energy Fund which is designed to provide financial assistance to local governments by leveraging their savings generated by renewable energy projects.
Chris Koczaja of PHG Energy gives the audience an update of their Covington project.
During the afternoon session, Brad Baker with Dyersburg City Schools advised the audience that he tracks energy consumption – including electricity, water, sewer, and natural gas – using energy-accounting software. He compares current energy use to a baseline period and calculates the amount of energy that would have been used had conservation and management practices not been implemented. By tracking consumption and analyzing energy use, he can quickly identify and correct areas needing immediate attention. University of Tennessee Researcher Eric Ogle of the Baker Center gave a presentation regarding the development of an industry first mobile application to help grow the Solar Economy across the Tennessee Valley. Through extended public interaction the app will serve as a dynamic research tool that will better inform solar policy to reduce barriers to Solar Adoption. Attendees also participated in an interactive energy survey conducted by Rick Marsh, Director, Industrial Energy Efficiency Network. This survey measures potential energy efficiency markets and awareness. Brandon England of Pathway Lending gave a detailed presentation about the Portfolio Manager which is an interactive energy management tool that allows you to monitor and assess energy and water consumption across your entire portfolio of buildings in a secure online environment. The Tennessee Soybean promotion Board also sponsored the luncheon forum.