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Clean Energy Fair 2021

Join us in Butte, America on August 14th!

MT Clean Energy Fair 2021 postcard

10th Annual Montana Clean Energy Fair heads to Butte, America on Saturday, August 14th!

After missing out on the Fair last year, we are thrilled to be bringing the Montana Clean Energy Fair back. The 2021 Fair will be hosted in Butte – where both MREA and the Fair were started. Stay tuned for more updates.
This event will follow all local and county health and safety requirements.

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FAIR INFO QUICK LINKS:
Workshop Schedule  |  Exhibitors  |  Kids Activities Schedule  | Raffle Prizes
Sponsors | Online Sponsor and Vendor Registration


Never been to the Fair? Take a look at some of the photos from previous Fairs:

 

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Fair Workshop Schedule

The Workshops will take place through the day, starting at 10 am and running through 2:45 pm. This year’s schedule features some crowd favorites, like Smart Solar Shopping and Solar Electricity Basics, as well as some new additions, including a presentation on Renewables + Agriculture and a panel discussion on Large-scale Renewable Energy Development.

10:00 am: Smart Solar Shopping (Tent 1)


Meranda Bass, Montana Energy Office, Department of Environmental Quality
Paul Herendeen, Clearwater Credit Union
I’m thinking about solar electricity – where do I start? Learn how to set appropriate solar goals for your home or business, estimate costs, find a contractor, and review solar bids. Plus, our speakers will go over the incentives, tax credits, low interest loans, and other programs that can help you finance your renewable energy project. Find out which incentives will work for you, and see how your investment will net returns. This session is a must for anyone who’s interested in the exciting market of solar energy.

Meranda Bass is an Energy Resource Professional at Montana Energy Office at the Department of Environmental Quality. Meranda grew up in Great Falls and attended the University of Montana. After graduating with a BS in business administration she moved to Helena to start her career at the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. Meranda has worked for the Montana Energy Office at DEQ for 5 years and for the last year and a half has been managing the Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program.

Paul Herendeen is the Director of Impact Market Development at the Clearwater Credit Union, where he works to develop lending programs with positive social outcomes. Prior to finance, he worked for ten years as an environmental scientist studying forests, water, and climate.

10:00 am: Batteries and Storage for Homes and Businesses (Tent 2)


Dan Brandborg, SBS Solar
Have you been wondering when and if you need batteries for emergency backup or how to store electricity for your on-grid or off-grid house? Learn about battery history, options, and the evolving technologies of energy storage. Plus, hear about the future potential for “vehicle-to-grid” tech. The battery revolution is on and is poised to change our entire way of thinking about electricity and independence!

Dan Brandborg has been working in the solar PV world for more than 30 years. Starting with a major US module manufacturer in 1983, Solarex, later known as BP Solar. Dan started Sunelco in Hamilton and currently owns and manages SBS Solar. He has lived with battery based systems both on and off the grid and is optimistic about the future of energy storage technologies.

11:00 am: Solar Electricity Basics (Tent 1)


Dave Ryan, Balance Engineering
Think solar is expensive? When’s the last time you checked? Solar photovoltaic costs have dropped dramatically over the last 5 years, and there's never been a better time to produce your own power from the sun. Plus, technology improvements mean you’re getting more energy from the same sized panels. Learn the ins and outs about using solar to produce your own energy.

Dave Ryan is a mechanical engineer practicing in Montana. As an independent contractor, he works with various clients, including agricultural producers. He spent 10 years working as a maintenance engineer in large surface coal mines. He then went to work for the Montana Power Company, then NorthWestern Energy on energy conservation projects. At MPC he helped develop conservation programs, and developed the first renewable energy program for the utility. In 2005, he went to work at the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and also started his own contracting engineering business, going full time self-employed in 2013. Along with developing many conservation and distributed energy projects, he also does pre-development work on large scale wind projects.

11:00 am: Electric Vehicles Show-and-Tell (Tent 2)


Dan Lloyd, Montana Energy Office at the Montana Department of Environmental Quality
Karl Haslbauer, EV Car Owner
Get the low-down on electric cars and what they have to offer you and your community. Learn about technology options, charging, price trends, and more. Plus, learn about plans for charging transportation infrastructure around the state. This workshop ends with a hands-on show and tell from EV car owners – this electric car show is a truly unique event for Montanans!

Dan Lloyd is the Bureau Chief of the Montana Energy Office at the Department of Environmental Quality. Dan has led the Montana Energy Office (MEO) since August of 2020. Prior to this, Dan was employed by an energy development company working on transmission and storage projects. He has served the state of Montana for nearly a decade, including positions with the Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Department of Commerce. Dan has represented the State of Montana on the Western Interstate Energy Board, the National Association of Energy Officials board, and the State CO2-EOR Deployment Work Group, among various other initiatives. Dan has a business degree from the University of Notre Dame and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member focused on improving access to energy efficiency for low- and moderate- income individuals. He lives with his wife, daughter, and two dogs in Helena, Montana.

Karl Haslbauer is a 24-year IT Professional and 3-year EV owner who loves answering questions and sharing experiences of his journey from ICE (internal combustion engine) to EV (electric vehicle).

12:00 pm: Energy Conservation and Efficiency (Tent 1)


Susan Bilo, Energy and Sustainability Professor
Learn the multiple benefits of conserving energy and go home with tips for finding and purchasing energy- and water-efficient appliances, fixtures, and equipment. This presentation will help you understand how you can lower your energy bills by using less, and will also cover efficiency's critical role in sizing renewable energy systems.

Susan Bilo has worked to advance energy efficiency and solar energy for a state energy office, a U.S. Department of Energy regional office, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. She currently teaches a course on energy and sustainability for Montana State University's Gallatin College. Some of Susan's particular interests include education and promotion of net zero energy buildings and the electrification of the transportation sector.

12:00 pm Renewables + Agriculture (Tent 2)


Steve Thompson, National Center for Appropriate Technology
Andrew Coggins, National Center for Appropriate Technology
Victorian Tilley, National Center for Appropriate Technology
How can farming and ranching operations take advantage of their solar resource? Can land being used for solar also be used to grow crops and graze animals? What about pollinators? These are just a few of the questions discussed during this interesting and fun presentation. Also, learn about harnessing energy for crop production through season extension strategies on NCAT's demonstration farm. This presentation will be from specialists at the National Center for Appropriate Technology.

Steve Thompson is the Executive Director of the National Center for Appropriate Technology. Steve has more than 30 years of experience in natural resource conservation, community-based climate change mitigation, journalism, and project management. A resident of Montana since 1991, he served as executive director of the Montana-based Cinnabar Foundation and was a senior program manager at the National Parks Conservation Association. He has a B.S. degree in rural sociology from Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Steve is an avid elk hunter, shallot farmer, and wild ice skater. He and his wife live in uptown Butte.

Andrew Coggins is the Rocky Mountain West Regional Director for the National Center for Appropriate Technology. Andrew joined NCAT in 2016, having moved to Butte from the UK with his family. He has overseen an NRCS EQIP program for the NCAT SIFT farm, constructing two new high tunnels to increase food production, as well as various fruit tree, cover crop, and hydroponic projects. He has also worked on several projects with the Blackfeet tribe, including regenerative grazing research and a tribally owned processing plant. Before coming to NCAT, Andrew worked for 25 years at Unilever’s 1,250-acre research farm and laboratory site at Colworth House in Bedfordshire, UK.

Victorian Tilley is the Energy Program Assistant for the energy team at NCAT headquarters in Butte. She works on a variety of projects related to energy efficiency services, energy in agriculture, and green building design. Prior to joining the energy team at NCAT, she served as an AmeriCorps member on NCAT's demonstration farm. Victorian is from Mississippi, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and a Master of Science in Health Education and Promotion at Mississippi State University. She deeply enjoys exploring Montana's wilderness, gardening, practicing yoga, and crafting. 

1:00 pm: Off-Grid Living (Tent 1)


Wayne Baker, Baker Light Industries
Trying to power an RV, cabin or a remote home? Or just wanting to be more self-sufficient? Learn the basics of off-grid technologies, such as battery storage and load planning and management, and hear first-hand what it takes to cut the power cord.

Wayne Baker is the owner of Baker Light Industries renewable energy contractors. He has worked in the renewable energy field since 2001. He sells and installs solar electric, solar thermal, biomass boilers and ground source heat pumps. Some of his more interesting projects include solar thermal projects using evacuated tube collectors and flat plate collectors.

1:00 pm: Renewable Energy Policy (Tent 2)


Conor Ploeger, Montana Environmental Information Center
Andrew Valainis, Montana Renewable Energy Association
The 2021 Legislative Session resulted in significant shifts to the state’s energy landscape. Some were good, but most were bad, and all of it impacted Montana’s future energy development. Learn about the good, the bad, the ugly and the still-yet-to-come from two energy advocates who were in the hallways this winter.

Conor Ploeger is the Clean Energy Analyst with the Montana Environmental Information Center. He works with local and state officials to advocate and accelerate the development of clean energy in Montana. By working with elected officials and community leaders, Conor works to better Montana by not only advocating for a healthy environment, but by ensuring that Montanans lower their energy costs with the adoption of clean, renewable energy. Conor grew up out west in Reno, NV, but left the state in 2017 to attend Vermont Law School in order to pursue a career in environmental work. Now, after falling in love with Montana, Conor resides in Helena.

Andrew Valainis joined MREA as Executive Director in 2016 and is responsible for administration and oversight of all of MREA’s program, including MREA’s legislative and regulatory advocacy. He has lobbied in three sessions at the Montana Legislature and regularly provides comments on dockets before the Montana Public Service Commission. Andrew graduated from the University of Rhode Island’s International Engineering Program with degrees in Ocean Engineering and Spanish, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Energy Regulation and Law from Vermont Law School.

2:00 pm: Large-scale Renewables and Storage (Tent 2)


James Ferguson, Broad Reach Power
Yvan Moosmann, Mitsubishi Power Americas
Montana has tremendous wind and solar resources, which are being harnessed by large scale projects across the state. Developers are also exploring new technologies and innovations, like renewable hydrogen or pairing solar and wind with large-scale storage. Learn what’s on the horizon for large-scale wind, solar, and clean hydrogen development in the state.

James Ferguson is Senior Vice President of Development at Broad Reach Power and has 10 years of experience in power and energy. Prior to joining Broad Reach Power in July 2019, James was a Senior Specialist at Vestas for three years focusing on new businesses and M&A. Previously, James was the Manager of FP&A at Apex Clean Energy. James Received an M.S. in Global Energy Management from the University of Colorado’s Denver Business School.

Yvan Moosmann is Vice President of Senior Market Development at Mitsubishi Power Americas. Prior to joining Mitsubishi Power, Yvan led CMI Energy LLC – a leading OEM manufacturer for heat recovery steam generators – for 13 years as the acting Chief Executive Officer with responsibility for all North American, Canadian and South American operations. Prior to CMI, Yvan worked as a Project Engineering Manager for a company called Ceradyne Inc. which was a leading manufacturer of body armor for the armed forces. Yvan started his career at Alstom Power in 1987, where he worked for 17 years as an electrical field engineer. In 2004 he transitioned into working as a Turn Key Construction Site Manager where he was in charge of the turnkey construction of combined cycle power plants in more than 15 countries.

3:00 – 3:20: Raffle Prizes -- Electric Bicycle Grand Prize (Tent 1)
Don’t forget to stop by the Montana Renewable Energy Association booth any time before 3:00 pm and enter a raffle for the chance to win great prizes, including your own e-bike valued at over $2,000! Our Grand Prize is a Sand Viper (500W) electric bike from Staack’s Motorsports in Butte. This 26 x 4”, 7-speed fat-tire bike has a top speed of approx. 20mph, and charges is just about 4 hours. Other prizes include items from local businesses, breweries, and restaurants – all for $1 per ticket! You can buy tickets at the MREA booth. You must be present to win.

4:00 – 5:00: Solar Home Tour
After the fair, get an in-depth experience with a solar-powered home! Visit a solar powered home just a couple blocks from the fair to learn first-hand about what it means to produce your own energy from the sun. Our host will walk through their experience with the installation, cost, and how owning solar has impacted their life. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion. Get all the details at the MREA booth during the Fair.


Exhibitors

Stop by our exhibitor area to visit with renewable energy businesses, advocacy and education groups, and more!

  • American Lung Association
  • Baker Light Industries
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Montana
  • Bozeman Green Build
  • CED Greentech - Bozeman
  • Citizens Climate Lobby - Montana
  • Clearwater Credit Union
  • Coffman Engineers
  • Forward Montana Foundation
  • Harvest Solar
  • Montana Energy Office at DEQ
  • Montana Environmental Information Center
  • National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)
  • Nature's Logic
  • Oasis Montana
  • OnSite Energy
  • Solar Powered Wagon
  • Staack's Motorsport
  • Sundance Solar Systems

Kids Activities Schedule

The Fair features fun and educational activities for kids. The Fair features face painting, a coloring and drawing station and a bouncy castle. Plus we will have workshops on solar cooking (bake cookies in a solar oven) and model solar car assembly and races!

All-Day Activities (9 am to 3:30 pm)
• Bouncy Castle
• Face Painting
• Coloring and Drawing Station

11:00 am – 12:00 pm: Solar Cooking (recommended for ages 6 and up)
Build your very own pizza box solar oven and cook up some treats!

12:00 – 1:00 pm: Recycled Art Projects (recommended for ages 6 and up)
Create works of art from commonly used household items!

1:00 – 2:30 pm: Model Solar Car Assembly and Racing (recommended for ages 8 and up)
Build a model solar racing car from kits provided by MREA. Races will be ongoing as models are completed, with awards for all racers! Want to keep your racing car? Kits can be purchased for $5 at the main MREA booth.


Raffle Items

Don’t forget to stop by the Montana Renewable Energy Association booth any time before 2:45 pm and enter a raffle for the chance to win many great prizes!

Our Grand Prize is a Sand Viper (500W) electric bike from Staack’s Motorsports in Butte. This 26 x 4”, 7-speed fat-tire bike has a top speed of approx. 20mph and charges is just about 4 hours. Other prizes include items from local businesses, breweries, and restaurants!

Other raffle prizes include:

  • Backpacks, sweaters, and more from Patagonia
  • Gift certificates to the Uptown Cafe
  • Gift cards and bottles of Montana Smoke Jumper Hot Sauce from Mackenzie River Pizza - Butte
  • A Moscow Mule gift basket from Headframe Spirits
  • Gift cards to the Meat Block
  • T-shirts, hats, koozies, and stickers from 5518 Designs
  • Gift baskets from Butte Brewing and Quarry Brewing
  • And more!

You can buy raffle tickets at the MREA booth. You must be present to win.

Want to support the Fair by donating a raffle prize? Please reach out to us at: info@montanarenewables.org

           


Sponsors

Clean and Green Level Sponsors

       


Gold Level Sponsors

           

       

 


Silver Level Sponsors

           

                         


Bronze Level Sponsors

                        

   


Supporters

   

       



Sponsors, Exhibitors, Food Vendors, and Car-show Registration

There are four ways to participate in the Fair:

  • Sponsorship Opportunities: Sponsoring the Clean Energy Fair gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to renewable energy and gain exposure for your business. A variety of sponsorship packages are available.
  • Exhibitors: We have spaces available for businesses and organizations in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainability, or related topics to display information and/or demonstrate their products.
  • Auto Dealers and Car Owners: The fair will feature a car show and rally showcasing electric vehicles. There is a two-vehicle limit for commercial auto dealers. Private owners please contact us for information about showing your car.
  • Food Vendors: We are also seeking food vendors to participate in the fair.

 >> Download the Sponsor and Exhibitor Form << 

Sponsors and Vendors can register online using the Register button below. Or, you can print and complete Page 3 of the Form and mail it back to MREA at the address provided.

Register Online