This June, the world is coming to Minnesota to talk about energy, and our team in Saint Paul is hoping that you will join us for this important event. The International District Energy Association (IDEA) Annual Conference will be held June 20-23, 2016, at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. Conference attendees include major international utility representatives, energy facility managers and operators, civic and business leaders, city planners, government officials, engineers, and architects from the United States and over two dozen countries. They will all be coming together to discuss the future of energy systems. This year’s theme, embracing change, gives us the opportunity to discuss and plan for the immense changes that are coming to our industry, and the cities and campuses it serves. Experts from around the world will be sharing their best practices, new ideas, and recent innovations.

skyline Saint Paul, MN
Credit Nattapol Pornsalnuwat

Saint Paul was selected for this conference because the Twin Cities and surrounding areas are home to dozens of district energy systems that showcase efficient and effective fuel and technology integration. The area also has new systems proposed to utilize the latest innovation in the industry. Conference attendees will be given the opportunity to tour some of these systems, including District Energy St. Paul, NRG Energy Center Minneapolis, and the University of Minnesota’s new combined heat and power facility. Additionally, there will be a special tour in Rochester, Minnesota, showcasing the future plans for Destination Medical Center and the energy system opportunities for the area.

The programming, workshop, and tours are some of the best that we have ever seen offered, although we might be slightly biased about the tours! Conference programming includes sessions on microgrids, planning for carbon reduction, campus revitalization, system optimization and controls, talent management, energy storage, water quality and infrastructure, electrical systems reliability, renewable energy integration, combined heat and power, and business model and financing structures.

For those considering traveling to Minnesota, this is a great time of year to visit. The weather is warm but temperate and there is plenty to do outside well into the long evenings. The conference takes place along the riverfront, offering incredible views of the mighty Mississippi River and our own Saint Paul EcoDistrict. Close to the conference hotels and Saint Paul RiverCentre, attendees will find world-class dining, theatres, ballparks, trails, caves, the Minnesota History Center, the Minnesota Children’s Museum, and the Science Museum of Minnesota. There really is something for everyone (Visit Saint Paul).

We hope you will be joining us in June. As IDEA members and ambassadors, we are extremely excited about what this conference will have to offer you. This will be an excellent opportunity to meet with your peers and leading technical resources from around the globe. Please join us to help craft the next chapter of success for our industry.

Ken Smith invites you to the IDEA Annual Conference in St. Paul from Peter B. Myers.