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March 7th, 2014

CES 2014 Energy Seminar Series: ??None of Us Is Smarter Than All of Us?

by Andrew Price, President & COO

Keeping up with dynamic energy markets is a big challenge. IfUMaine Composites Lab you are reading this blog, energy markets must interest (or, especially true this winter, frighten) you. Even for the dedicated team of energy professionals at CES, it has been more than a full time job to stay on top the volatile markets this winter! One of the ways that we attempt to keep our clients informed about all that is going on is through a series of energy seminars each spring.

We have already hosted two very successful seminars. The first was at Hypertherm in Hanover NH on February 27th. Hypertherm is a leading provider of metal cutting products for use in industries all over the world. After very detailed presentations on energy market volatility (provided by CES President and COO Jon Sorenson), sustainability case studies and opportunities (provided by yours truly) and compressed natural gas (provided by our guest speakers Harry Hadiaris and Doug Hanson from Xpress Natural Gas), Hypertherm provided a great tour of their facility. Hypertherm has a new, LEED Gold certified manufacturing facility. Perry Seale and Dave Gaudet led us all on a fascinating tour, explaining all of the remarkable features that they designed into the building to improve efficiency, comfort and sustainability. CES is very pleased to play a very small part in Hypertherm’s remarkable success.

Next up was our Seminar at the University of Maine in Orono on March 4th. In addition to our energy markets and sustainability discussions, we were joined by Dr. Habib Dagher, Director of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center. Dr. Dagher updated everyone on the innovative Maine Aqua Ventus offshore wind project, which earlier this year received “term sheet” approval from the Maine Public Utilities Commission. Dr. Dagher also provided a fascinating tour of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center. This is the kind of place where you see enormous composite wind turbine towers bolted – horizontally – to a wall for testing. The Center is leading cutting edge research on composite technologies applicable to offshore wind, bridge design (both new and retrofit applications), high performance boat design, blast resistant structures for military and domestic use, and lighter more secure shipping containers, to name just a few. Dr. Dagher - who may be the only person to which the sign over the entrance of the lab which says “none of us is smarter than all of us” does not apply - gave very generously of his time and once again the tour was a highlight of the seminar.

Sound like fun? You have two more chances this spring to come to a CES Seminar in New England. We will be in Worcester at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center on March 12th from 8 am to 12 noon. Our guest speaker at this seminar will be Matt Kearns, a Vice President at First Wind. First Wind is more than just the most successful wind developer based in New England. They have made a very successful venture into solar PV, with some significant projects in Massachusetts. CES and First Wind have worked closely together on 18 MWs of solar PV in Massachusetts that will provide millions of dollars in saving to the University of Massachusetts System.  

Our final seminar will be in Portland Maine at the University of Southern Maine on March 18th from 2pm to 5pm. We will be joined at USM by Patrick Woodcock, Director of the Governor's Energy Office and Joe Rose, President of the Propane Gas Association of New England. Director Woodcock and President Rose will undoubtedly make attendance at the seminar worth your time. And did I mention that the presentations at USM will be followed by a cocktail reception…enough said.

Thanks to everyone who made the first two CES seminars a great success and I look forward to speaking with everyone in Worcester and Portland over the next two weeks!


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