The National Electrical Contractors Association recently convened for the first ever Energy Study Mission, hosting electrical contractors from around the country for two days of meetings designed to highlight emerging trends in the energy sector.
The Energy Study Mission, which was held on June 22-23 in Golden, CO, aims to educate members on new technologies and opportunities for work in energy by featuring exclusive tours, seminars and group discussions relating to cutting-edge energy projects or research facilities across the country.
Mir Mustafa, NECA’s Executive Director of Business Development, said a diverse group of contractors, industry partners, and NECA leadership attended the limited-invitation meeting, which was an initiative of the NECA Business Development Task Force. Another Energy Study Mission is planned for 2017.
The Energy Study Mission kicked off at the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). A tour featured the laboratory’s Science and Technology Facility, the Energy Systems Integration Facility, and the Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility, which support research on solar cells, thin film PV, and nanostructure as well as research on the relationships between electricity, thermal, and fuel systems and data and information networks.
Bob May, NECA Vice President, District Eight, called the meeting a great experience. “The time spent at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and with our cutting-edge partners and contractors was truly enlightening and rewarding,” he added. “I can't wait for next year’s Energy Study Mission.”
Attendees also heard from resident researchers and notable experts in the field, including Dan Henrich, President of PDE Total Energy Solutions; David Riley, Associate Professor in the Department of Architectural Engineering at Penn State University; and Bob Eaton, Managing Partner at Day & Night Solar. Ramsay Stevens, CEO of Buildify, also presented on the NECA ECAP platform. A panel of Premier Partners included Jon Zelinsky, Director, Contractor Marketing, Philips Lighting; Dave Moeller, National Market Manager, Graybar; and Mohamed Shishani, Go To Market and Launch Manager, Schneider Electric.
John Frantz of Sidney Electric Company said: “It was enlightening to see some of the developing technologies that we will be working with in the future. More importantly, there were technologies that are being installed today in certain markets where we as NECA members should be leading the way. It became more evident that we must help our clients with energy efficiency versus just more generation. That is where we have the highest positive impact both economically and environmentally.”
Contractors who attended the Energy Study Mission had positive things to say about the meeting.
“The Energy Study Mission brought us cutting edge technologies and projects that enhance our commitment to innovation,” said Sonja Rheaume of Christenson Electric.
Added Wes Anderson of Anderson Electric: “The Energy Study Mission was exceptional because NECA brought together a collaborative team of experts, owners, manufacturers and contractors for a discussion sure to impact our future.”
For more information on NECA and future Energy Study Missions, go to www.necanet.org.