Notre Dame Panel to Discuss Future of Electric Power

A panel of energy industry experts will discuss the future of electric power and energy Feb. 25 (Wednesday) from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Center for Continuing Education at the University of Notre Dame.

The discussion, which will be led by moderator Joan F. Brennecke, Keating-Crawford Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and director of the Notre Dame Energy Center, is free and open to the public.

The forum is part of the University’s yearlong emphasis on global energy, which was introduced during the 2008 Notre Dame Forum on Sustainable Energy.

Sponsored by the Energy Center and the College of Engineering and coordinated by Frank P. Incropera, the Clifford and Evelyn Brosey Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Dean Emeritus, the panel features four experts in the field:

  • Anthony Earley Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of DTE Energy, which includes Detroit Edison, an electric utility serving more than 2.2 million customers, and Michigan Consolidated Gas, a gas utility serving 1.3 million customers; he earned three degrees ñ a bachelor’s in physics, a master’s in engineering, and law ñ from Notre Dame; serves on the University’s advisory council for the College of Engineering; and received an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 2006;
  • Patrick Eilers, managing director of Madison Dearborn Partners, responsible for the firm’s energy and power practice, focused on the acquisition and management of companies in this sector; he earned a bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame; serves on the advisory council for the College of Engineering; was a member of the 1988 Irish national championship football team;
  • William Hederman, special advisor to the U.S. Congress and previously executive director of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; founding director of the Office of Market Oversight and Investigations at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and vice president of strategic initiatives at Columbia Energy Group; and
  • Michael O’Sullivan, senior vice president of development at FPL Energy, a world leader in the production of clean energy, including wind and solar power.

Panelists were chosen on the basis of their extensive experiences over a broad array of energy-related issues. Topics to be discussed include the challenges confronting major utilities, including constraints on carbon emissions; the role of private equity firms in advancing power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure; the implications of deregulation; the role of renewable energy; and the future of renewable portfolio standards.

According to Incropera, power production today is at a crossroads.

“Electricity is critical to maintaining an acceptable standard of living,”he said.“The issues are many, and they encompass the role of nuclear power and renewable energy, the future of coal-fired plants, as well as economics and public policy. At stake is the human condition: How do we transition to an energy future that meets needs in ways that are economically and environmentally acceptable?”

Live webcast at: mms://

_ Contact: Frank Incropera,_ " "