MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- Industry members from across the state and region are in Manhattan this week, learning about the latest developments in renewable energy.
The 2012 Kansas Energy Conference is being held at the Manhattan Conference Center (located on South 3rd Street) September 25-26.
The day-and-half conference will feature three general sessions and several breakout sessions highlighting different areas of the sector, including the community/small wind industry, biomass/biofuels, solar and wind farm development, and transportation, officials said.
Attendees will have an opportunity to take a tour of the Riley County Public Works Operations Division facility and see first-hand the operations of several renewable energy sources – wind turbines, solar-powered LED lighting, a solar hot water heating system for radiant floor heat, geothermal (ground source) heat pumps and more. Riley County has been using this facility since 2007.
General session speakers include Kevin Rabinovitch, global sustainability director, Mars Inc., who develops and executes strategies and initiatives relating to all aspects of sustainability for Mars North American’s full supply chain and renewable energy projects. Also participating will be John Graham, president and CEO, BP Wind Energy, who is responsible for wind and solar power development activities, including the $3 billion Flat Ridge 2 project under construction in south central Kansas.
“The conference brings together folks from a variety of different industries who are all associated or connected in some way with renewable or sustainable energy, primarily. The purpose of the conference to bring people together for a networking opportunity and also, there are a lot of good educational opportunities to provide people updates on what is happening in terms of renewable energy in the state. It ranges from wind energy to biomass. There are solar sessions. There’s a little bit of everything running the full gamut of renewable energy,” said Steve Kelly, Deputy Secretary for Business and Community Development for the Kansas Department of Commerce.
“It’s an industry that’s certainly having its ups and downs right now, particularly in terms of some of the wind energy components but there’s obviously a lot of interest and Kansas is a state that, we believe, a lot of opportunity on the renewable energy side,” he added.