University News

Illinois Renewable Energy Conference July 16; "One-Stop-Shop" for Renewable Energy Answers in Illinois

July 7, 2014

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL – The Illinois Biomass Working Group, coordinated by the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University, will host the Illinois Renewable Energy Conference Wednesday, July 16 at the Bone Student Center at Illinois State University (Normal, IL).

The conference, hosted in partnership with the Illinois Wind Working Group, the Illinois Solar Energy Association and the Geothermal Alliance of Illinois, will feature an informative program with 35 speakers who will provide important details on renewable energy policy, technology and case studies from around the state. The event will feature plenary-session speakers addressing all aspects of renewable energy. In addition, breakout sessions will include discussion about biomass, wind, solar and geothermal energy.

"We are especially pleased to sponsor a special keynote address presented by USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Lillian Salerno," said Fred Iutzi, energy program manager for the IIRA. "She will outline USDA's initiative designed to advance renewable energy in rural Illinois and across the country, through its portfolio of business grant and loan programs."

Other plenary presenters include Mel Nickerson of the Illinois Energy Office at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Barry Matchett of the Environmental Law and Policy Center; Anthony Star of the Illinois Power Agency; and Susan Hedman of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5.

"Illinois renewable energy is poised to take a giant leap forward in 2014 and 2015," noted David Loomis, director of the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University. "Our renewable portfolio standard and our restructured energy markets make Illinois a very attractive place to develop renewable energy projects. This conference is a one-stop-shop for answers to issues concerning renewable energy in the state."

The event is open to the public and will be of special interest to renewable energy companies, policy makers, government officials, county board members, zoning board members, universities, community colleges, schools, landowners, agricultural extension offices, lawyers, electric co-ops, manufacturers, contractors and environmental groups.

Individual registration costs are set at the early-bird rate of $50 for those who register on or before Tuesday, July 8. Individual registration cost increases to $70 beginning Wednesday, July 10. The registration fee includes lunch and a continental breakfast at the event.

For the conference agenda and/or to register online, visit the Center for Renewable Energy website at

For more information, contact Iutzi at (309) 298-1453.

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations