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Wind, Solar, Nuclear and Beyond: Powering the Future

  • 06:00 PM
  • 970-476-0954

Wind, Solar, Nuclear and Beyond: Powering the Future

Environmental Awareness

With Bryan Hannegan, Jules Kortenhorst, Patrick McClure and Diarmuid O’Connell

Monday, Feb. 24, 2020
Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; program begins at 6 p.m.

The Sebastian-Vail | Vail

The clarion call for the transition to 100% renewable energy has been issued. More than 100 cities across America have pledged to make that transition–many by 2035. They are not alone. Large companies such as Walmart, Nike, Starbucks and Proctor & Gamble have also pledged to go green. Does the technology exist to make this a reality? Are power utilities prepared? This panel discussion will address the environmental drivers and the practical aspects of the transition from fossil fuels to alternatives both renewable and nuclear. 
Nuclear power is still a relevant and important piece of the U.S. energy mix and currently provides 20% of the electrical needs of the U.S. However, most nuclear power is the U.S. is more than 40 years old. Learn about the next generation of nuclear power such as the potential of very small nuclear reactors providing power to the electrical grid, portable nuclear for power in remote locations and the use of nuclear for other purposes such as space exploration. 
Wind turbines and solar panels are dependent not only on sunshine and the wind blowing, but also batteries to store the generated energy. Does current battery technology provide a feasible option? Lastly, where are the public utilities in this discussion? A power company’s perspective will round out this comprehensive look at how we will power our future. 
Bryan Hannegan is president and CEO of Holy Cross Energy, a not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperative utility providing electricity and energy products and services to more than 42,000 customers in Western Colorado. Prior to joining Holy Cross in July 2017, Hannegan was an Associate Laboratory Director at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Jules Kortenhorst is the chief executive officer of Rocky Mountain Institute. He is a recognized leader on global energy issues and climate change. Prior to RMI, Jules was the founding CEO of the European Climate Foundation (ECF), the largest philanthropic organization dedicated to policy development and advocacy on climate change in Europe.
Patrick McClure is a senior researcher and advisor on very small nuclear reactor projects at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Recently, he was the LANL lead for the development, construction and testing of a small space reactor for NASA called Kilopower. Currently, Mr. McClure is advising LANL and NASA management on technical and policy decisions for space nuclear power, including lunar surface reactors and thermal nuclear rockets.
Diarmuid B. O’Connell most recently served as chief strategy officer at Fair. He spent 11 years at Tesla, most recently as vice president of business development. One of the longest-serving executives at the automaker, he also served as chief of staff to the assistant secretary of state for political military affairs in the U.S. Department of State.
This program is underwritten by Dr. Robert & Janie Lipnick and Carel & Marc Slatkoff
The Environmental Awareness Series is graciously underwritten by Holly & Buck Elliot and is presented in partnership with Walking Mountains Science Center

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