By Vic Kolenc \ El Paso Times / Posted: 10/14/2011 12:00:00 AM MDT
The first Re-Energize the Americas energy conference will be Oct. 26-27 at the El Paso convention center. It will be scheduled in conjunction with the Texas General Land Office's 17th annual Border Energy Forum on Oct. 27-28 at the same location.
The Re-Energize the Americas conference is aimed at shining a spotlight on the El Paso-Las Cruces-Juárez region to show that it has the natural, manufacturing and academic resources to become a center for developing solar, wind and geothermal energy sources and products, said Britt Porter, co-chairman of the conference.
About 250 to 300 business and government officials are expected to attend the joint conferences, Porter said.
He's a member of the Paso del Norte Group, an El Paso economic development group, which organized the Re-Energize conference along with the University of Texas at El Paso and New Mexico State University . It's to become an annual event. Next year's conference will be in Las Cruces.
The Re-Energize conference will have several panel discussions on energy research at UTEP and NMSU, water and energy relationships, regional energy investment, national and international energy technology policy, and green building codes.
The Border Energy Forum, a binational conference aimed at energy issues on both sides of the border, will have workshops on a number of energy topics, including solar and wind energy, electricity, financing energy projects, energy entrepreneurship, and doing business in border states.
Robert Brumley, CEO of Pegasus Global Holdings, a Washington, D.C., technology development company, is scheduled to talk about his company's proposal to build a test city during the Re-Energize conference's last session Oct. 27. The project will resemble a midsize American city of about 35,000 people, but it will have no residents. It's proposed for 20 square miles of open land somewhere in New Mexico.
It will be designed to test new and emerging technologies, including solar and wind energy, outside the confines of a laboratory, Brumley said in a phone interview.
It will allow testing that can't be done in a populated area, and will replicate real-world conditions through computer-based simulations, Brumley said.
A five-month feasibility study by Pegasus will determine the best location for the project and its financial viability, according to a news release issued last month by the New Mexico Economic Development Department. The state of New Mexico is providing nonfinancial resources and assistance to Pegasus for the study, according to the release.
Brumley said the study will also be used to attract investors for the project, which Pegasus wants to begin building next year.
About 350 people are expected to be employed inside the test city, and an additional 3,500 jobs are expected to be created to support its operations, Brumley said.
Porter said getting Pegasus and other companies to look at this region for various projects is part of the Re-Energize conference's purpose.
A session Oct. 26 will talk about plans by the Paso del Norte Group and others to try to create a center here to certify renewable energy products, Porter said. It would be similar to centers now used by Underwriters Laboratories, or UL, to give safety certifications to a wide range of products, he said.
Some of the other speakers at the conferences:
Hunter Hunt, president and CEO of Hunt Consolidated Energy, the holding company for Hunt Oil, Hunt Power and other energy activities of the Ray L. Hunt family of Dallas, will be the keynote speaker at an Oct. 26 dinner for both conferences.
Col. Joseph Simonelli Jr., garrison commander at Fort Bliss, will be the speaker at an Oct. 26 luncheon for the Re-Energize conference. He will talk about Fort Bliss' plans for using renewable energy sources to meet the post's energy needs.
Pablo Mulás del Pozo, executive director of the Mexican Member Committee of the World Energy Council, will speak about the future of energy policy at an Oct. 28 breakfast at the Border Energy Forum.
Antonio Vivanco Casamadrid, director general of Mexico's government-owned electric utility, Comisión Federal de Electricidad, will speak at an Oct. 27 morning session jointly held by both conferences.
Re-Energize the Americas energy conference will be Oct. 26-27 at the El Paso convention center. It costs $150 a person, or $260 to $300 for a joint registration with the Border Energy Forum. Information, registration: reenergizetheamericas.com.
Border Energy Forum will be Oct. 27-28 at the El Paso convention center. It costs $160 a person if registered by today, or $200 after today. A joint registration with the Re-Energize conference is $260 a person by today, and $300 after today. Information, registration: borderenergyforum.org