IDEA Presents “evolvingENERGY” Conference Oct. 28-30 in Toronto

Oct. 20, 2014
IDEA’s evolvingEnergy conference Oct. 28-30 will feature district energy, combined heat & power and community energy resiliency. with a focus on Canada.

Toronto at night. Credit: Agunther

IDEA conference to feature district energy, combined heat & power and community energy resiliency. with focus on Canada

The International District Energy Association (IDEA) is bringing together district energy practitioners from across North America for the evolvingENERGY conference in Toronto October 28-30. The event will provide a platform for dialogue across the Canadian district energy industry and exploring the evolution of community energy systems.

The conference will focus on the issues pertinent to the district energy sector, with an emphasis on operational best practices, business models, system deployment, technical innovations and a shifting energy paradigm from central station generation to more distributed energy solutions.

With a rich and compelling technical program, the event will begin with an “Industry Leaders Panel,” followed by a “District Energy Implementation Panel.” The Industry Leaders Panel will feature high level executives from district energy utilities  from across Canada and the northern U.S., who will share insights on emerging trends such as new system starts,  provincial and state policy drivers, responding to urban intensification, microgrids and resiliency, global best practices and industry expansion. The District Energy Implementation Panel will feature experienced industry practitioners  who will discuss building partnerships, evaluating technologies, advancing development, assembling capital, sourcing financing, and constructing and commissioning projects. Both panels are intended to provide attendees with critical information to help community leaders with moving their own projects forward. These are the kind of lessons learned in practice, not from a website or textbook.

Following the opening panels, conference participants will have the option to select between two concurrent tracks, one on operational issues and the other addressing system planning, deployment and implementation.   The program is supported by industry leading exhibitors and experienced business partners.

The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) will anchor a workshop announcing their Combined Heat & Power Standard Offer Program 2.0, providing attendees with hands-on guidance to submitting and participating in the current CHP SOP 2.0 program.  The workshop will include industry insights on the economic and business case for successful heat and power operations along with the perspective of electric and gas utilities on issues such as interconnection, supply and dispatch protocols.   For those interested in the OPA’s newly outlined target for 200 MW in the district energy sector, this is a must attend event.

Colin Andersen, CEO of the Ontario Power Authority, and Bob Delaney, parliamentary assistant to the Ministry of Energy, will provide keynote addresses to outline their respective views on current energy policy, trends in the marketplace and perspectives on deployment of clean energy across the province and the nation.

In the Resilient Microgrids Operation and Maintenance Seminar, Ted Borer of Princeton University will share proven practices to ensure your CHP district energy plant is reliable and resilient when needed most. If you operate a microgrid or are considering adding the ability to isolate and island from the grid, this session will be “hands-on” instruction to help you plan, operate and optimize your microgrid.

Keeping with the operations-focused content, an Operations Planning and Preparedness Symposium will feature local plant managers highlighting plant emergency preparedness and response.  Operating a plant requires diligence and preparation to ensure appropriate responses in the face of emergency or an on-site disaster. Attendees will participate in a worst-case scenario for a local district energy plant and learn about strategies to identify weaknesses, assess conditions and implement an emergency response plan.

In the Planning and Development Symposium, IDEA, Natural Resources Canada and the City of Toronto will provide training and tools for planners, sustainability directors and community leaders in best practices for community energy development. With mayors and local leaders seeking more resilient energy systems to strengthen their economies, reduce GHG emissions, attract new business investments and avoid business interruption losses while preparing for more frequent and severe weather events, many local governments still lack the tools to fully assess the potential social, economic and environmental outcomes of building district energy systems in their communities.

At the conclusion of the conference, attendees will have the opportunity to tour two outstanding district energy systems in the region; the University of Toronto and Markham District Energy. The system at the University of Toronto was the first district heating system in operation in downtown Toronto and today heats about 12.4 million square feet. The Markham District Energy system is owned by the City of Markham, one of the fastest growing communities in Canada, and includes a 4 MW CHP facility, 5 MW of standby generation, 4000 tons of cooling, 15 MW of heating and 5 MW of steam capacity serving over 1 million square feet of building area.

evolvingEnergy will take place on October 28-30, 2014 at the Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre in Toronto, ON.  For more details and information, please visit

The International District Energy Association (IDEA) is a nonprofit 501(c) 6 industry association founded in 1909 and governed by a 22-member Board of Directors. IDEA represents approximately 1800 members who are district heating and cooling executives, managers, engineers, consultants and equipment suppliers from 26 countries. Association members operate district energy systems owned by utilities, municipalities, hospitals, military bases and airports throughout North America and around the world. Visit for more information.

About the Author

Kevin Normandeau | Publisher

Kevin is a veteran of the publishing industry having worked for brands like PC World, AOL, Network World, Data Center Knowledge and other business to business sites. He focuses on industry trends in the energy efficiency industry.