International Smart Grid Conference Reaches Out To High School Students in Colorado

What your parents haven't told you: How the Smart Grid will allow you to fill-up your electric car for the equivalent of 50-cents a gallon using clean, renewable energy!

Fort Collins, CO September 27, 2012— Spirae’s Center for Smart Grid Advancement is hosting more than 175 high school students from various towns along Colorado’s front range to learn about our energy future — the smart grid!

Where: The Lincoln Center’s Magnolia Theater — 417 West Magnolia Street Fort Collins, CO 80521

When: Thursday, September 27, 2012, Noon—1:45 pm

What: Over the next few years, our increased reliance on new energy sources and the ways that we receive and use power will create many new opportunities for work and study in the energy sector! Students will learn how our natural energy sources will communicate with our homes, cars and businesses to meet the energy needs of our future through a smart grid simulation and a fun presentation by an international leader in energy technologies. After the workshop, students will participate in a career panel to discuss academic options and career paths with local leaders from Colorado’s top smart grid businesses and utility companies. Go to for more information.

Education Program Agenda and Overview

12:00 pm — Opening remarks by Monisha M. Merchant, Senior Advisor for Business Affairs to U.S. Senator Michael F. Bennet

12:05 pm — Interactive presentation on the smart grid by Dan Bihn. Dan teaches courses on renewable energy and the smart grid for the corporate training company, Enerdynamics, Inc. While others “dumb down” the story, Dan aspires to “brighten up” the story – making the content understandable and genuinely interesting.

1:15 pm — Career panel moderated by Dele Johnson from Groundwork Colorado. The panelists are:

  • Utility Perspective: Baird McKevitt, Design Supervisor, Xcel Energy
  • Education Perspective: Conwell Dickey, Digital Energy Program Manager, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Industry Career Perspective: Darren Edgar, Software Engineer, Spirae—a smart grid solutions company
  • Hiring Perspective: Lanie Prouse, Managing Director, Mycoff, Fry & Prouse—recruiters for the utility industries

Why Do We Need to Learn About the Smart Grid?

The City of Fort Collins will receive $18.1 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a smart-grid energy management system. Fort Collins and its residents will experience the following benefits from this project:

  • Reduced Electricity Costs for Customers
  • Increased Electricity Service Reliability and Power Quality
  • Reduced Costs from Equipment Failures and Distribution Line losses
  • Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions

References: ARRA Smart Grid Investment Grants, City of Fort Collins Award

Contact: Julie Zinn-Patt, COO, Spirae | | Office: 970 449 8528

Stephanie Fry, Groundwork Colorado | | Office: 303 455 5600

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