This coming week will be a busy one for energy-related businesses and stakeholders looking to invest in the Valley, as the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corp. will host its fifth annual Imperial Valley Renewable Energy Summit & Expo.
“We are very excited to have this event,” which runs from Tuesday to Friday, said IVEDC chief executive officer Tim Kelley. More than 450 businesses are scheduled to attend.
And while many of the businesses invited have already done investment in Imperial County, Kelley said, for others this will be their first time here.
“To have these type of activities and opportunities we would have to travel literally (thousands) of miles,” he said. This week, the IVEDC and its sponsors are bringing these companies all at once, Kelley said.
Every year there is a different focus, he said, and this year “we are looking at environmental, biological and cultural challenges. But the purpose of this summit is to bring awareness about renewable energy opportunity investments in the Valley and ultimately spur job development, he said.
The markets are turning around, he said, and this week-long event tries to find how best to take advantage of that.
Speakers will make presentations throughout the week, along with informational workshops, mixers, panels and there’s even a golf tournament scheduled. The tournament is a new component to the summit. Another new component is a geothermal resource workshop, he said.
Key speakers are many and vary in areas of expertise. Some of these are Gene Suemnicht, chief geologist of EGS Inc.; Glenda Humiston, state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development; and Stephen Mayfield, director of San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology.
Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez, chairman of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy, and Assemblyman Steven Bradford, chairman of the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce will be in attendance as well.
Thursday afternoon, a coordinated job fair of prescreened individuals by work-training agencies will be held.
Moreover, companies who have established major new development in the county will be recognized, Kelley said. Most are developments that have been completed or are near completion like solar farms, energy trading posts and other projects, he said.
“I’m sure that those who attend will find this (event) rewarding,” he said.
Staff Writer Alejandro Davila can be reached at 760-337-3445 or email@example.com