"Smart Grid" Is Focus of First Workshop in UB's "Business of Energy" Series

New York State Smart Grid Chair is keynote speaker of workshop, co-hosted by Hodgson Russ LLP

Release Date: February 23, 2010

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo's clean energy business incubator program, Directed Energy, will host "Smart Grid Opportunities," a half-day workshop designed to help businesses and researchers better comprehend technical advancements and business opportunities related to efforts to revamp the electrical grid.

It will take place on April 21 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Buffalo/Niagara Marriott, 1340 Millersport Hwy., Amherst, N.Y. The program will be co-hosted by Hodgson Russ LLP.

The keynote speaker will be Robert B. Catell, chair of the New York State Smart Grid Consortium, the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) and the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at Stony Brook University. He also chairs Alberta Northeast Gas Ltd., and is a member of the board of directors of KEYERA Energy Management Ltd.

Catell will discuss "The New York State Smart Grid Consortium: Mission, Roadmap, Challenges and Opportunities."

The workshop is the first in a series of four to be held in 2010, part of Directed Energy's effort to support a clean-energy technical and business cluster in Western New York. The series is supported and sponsored by several organizations led by UB and Hodgson Russ LLP.

"The Business of Energy series has several objectives," says Martin Casstevens, Directed Energy's director, and business-formation and commercialization manager for UB's Office of Science, Technology and Economic Outreach (STOR). "Technical businesses will have an opportunity to learn about and explore new business opportunities. Academics will hear prominent speakers identify ongoing technical challenges requiring additional research. The series also provides businesspeople and academics with a valuable networking session. We've included subject matter that will also be of interest to Canadian businesses."

Additional speakers at the Smart Grid workshop will include Ken Klapp of New York Independent System Operator, who will give an overview of the electrical grid; William J. Miller, president of MaCT-USA, who will discuss "Smart Grid: The Vision, the Technologies, the Challenges;" David Beauvais, Smart Grid project leader at Natural Resources Canada; Paul Tyno, executive vice president, Energy Curtailment Specialists, Inc., who will discuss "Peak Use Mitigation;" and a panel led by Daniel A. Spitzer, a partner at Hodgson Russ, LLP, that will address "Living with the Smart Grid."

For decades, the infrastructure and fundamental business model of the electricity grid remained essentially the same, says Casstevens.

"Today, the industry looks toward developing a smart grid: one that is more efficient, more reliable and focused on being far more responsible to the electricity needs of consumers," he said. "In this workshop, attendees will learn how this imminent paradigm shift will completely change the way electricity is produced, distributed and consumed, sparking new and exciting opportunities in a wide range of areas."

The program is designed for chief executive officers and executives, managers and decision-makers in all areas, including finance and information managers, researchers, academics, engineers, purchasing agents and others involved with or interested in the opportunities presented by the Smart Grid.

Casstevens says that the Business of Energy Series is ideal for both veterans of the energy business and newcomers. This series offers a unique opportunity for attendees to learn what's new on the energy horizon, exchange ideas and network with their peers and potential business partners in all aspects of the industry.

Future seminars in the "Business of Energy" series will be announced at http://www.businessofenergy.org.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Hodgson Russ is a full-service law firm actively involved in the renewable energy industry. Whether guiding green energy and other development projects from inception through completion and operation, assisting clients with climate change issues, counseling clients on complying with the requirements imposed by the broad panoply of federal and state environmental statutory and regulatory programs, or litigating disputes that arise under these programs, Hodgson Russ provides practical and forward-thinking counsel and advocacy. As expanding energy frontiers present new opportunities, Hodgson Russ designs solutions to help clients succeed.

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