Alternative energy powers Park City conference |

Alternative energy powers Park City conference

Frank Fisher, Of the Record staff

As they talk about the latest alternative energy sources and the money that can be saved by using them, and then list the who’s who coming to speak at the alternative energy conference, You can picture them as kids in flannel pajamas under the holiday tree.

They are the organizers, David Bates, president, and Barbara Carey, Resource Conservation and Development Coordinator, both head the third annual Uinta Headwaters Renewable Energy Conference, which will be open to the public, and will be held on Nov. 10 at the Park City Marriott. The conference, which lasts from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., will cover such topics as "Solar — How to use it in your home, business or farm," "Fuels for schools and public buildings," "Hydrogen technology," and "Biodiessel 101: how to brew your own," and "Improving energy efficiency on the farm," among others. Concurrent workshops will be offered during each of the four sessions, so that the audience can attend the lectures, presentations and demonstrations of their choice. Lunch will be included with the $10 admission fee.

Scheduled to attend are Dana Williams, the mayor of Park City, Utah Representative Ralph Becker, Laura Nelson, Ph.D. Utah energy advisor, and Possibly Rocky Anderson, mayor of Salt Lake City, as well as the presenters, who have doctorates in their energy field, or who are engineers developing technology, or business owners who are putting the new technology to use.

"We need to get some guilt out there we’re burning 82 million barrels of oil per-day around the World," said Bates. "We’re burning our children’s and grandchildren’s oil."

But Bates is not focused on gloom and doom, he is excited about the multitude of powerful alternative energy sources coming around the corner, and even more excited about those already efficiently in use that people may be unaware of.

Bates looks to the future and the present technology of alternative energy. He said that ceramic bricks impregnated with hydrogen can be used as fuel cells for cars, where they are used in place of gas, with a byproduct of water. He said farmers will be able to grow cash crops of grains that will be able to be distilled into ethanol, a fuel source. Wind power, solar power, water power and geothermal energy are becoming reality in business.

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Bates and Carey previewed what is to come in the conference. Heat-pump technology they said, is now being used on a commercial scale in three West Jordan schools. The state of the art geothermal heating system has 220 water-circulating tubes running 300 feet into the ground, extracting heat or cooling, depending on what is needed. The electricity to circulate the water and force conditioned air into rooms is the only energy used. The heating of the school is projected to pay for itself in eight years.

Bates, a farmer and rancher, has a slew of major alternative energy money-saving set ups that can be used on the farm or ranch. He said people generally want to cut down on pollution , and use more environmentally friendly sources of energy, but he makes his point that people can save money with these systems.

Bates started the conference three years ago, when he wanted to cut costs on his farm and ranch and wondered why farmers and ranchers were not using solar panels. He was told that although they worked well, vandals were shattering them with gunfire. Now, he said, there are solar panels that still work after being shot. Bates has ordered some for his farm, but they are on backorder because they are being shipped to Iraq.

"This conference is for homeowners, business owners, schools, students, and engineers, said Carey. "There are great opportunities to get into this"

Carey said the conference actually loses money, because lunch costs are more per person than the entry fee. But it is that important, Bates and Carey feel, to get the word out about alternative energy that can not only save money, and perhaps save the environment.

"We’ll never know the long-term effects of pollution on our eco-system until it is too late," Bates said.

The Park City Marriott is located at 1895 Sidewinder Drive in Park City. For information on attending the conference, call (435) 657-1465, ext. 12. Early reservations are suggested, to get a count for lunches, but space is also limited.