STORY Power Generation

Mankato Power Generation Symposium Goes Virtual

Posted on December 14, 2020 by Jenifer Riley, Images by Rolls-Royce Power Systems

For the first time, the Powergen Symposium took place virtually, with lectures and discussions that were as inspiring as ever.
Mankato, Minnesota, USA
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and the coronavirus pandemic has challenged us to be especially inventive in preparing this year’s mtu Power Generation Symposium for the Americas.

“Even in the midst of a pandemic, we need to connect with each other and advance the sharing of information and ideas within the power generation community,” said Andreas Goertz, VP of Power Generation. “That’s why we felt it was so important to continue the legacy we have built with our mtu Power Generation Symposium. While we won’t have the in-person contact we enjoy in a normal year, we can still present the latest in technology trends and product innovations in a virtually immersive setting.”

Taking place from November 30 – December 3, the free virtual Symposium reached a global audience with over 1,800 registrations – compared with approximately 400 for the in-person event – and more than 60 countries represented. It included 17 sessions, both live and pre-recorded, and 18 product and distributor booths in the exhibit hall, where attendees could connect in real time with our experts. The highest attended live sessions showed that our audience is very interested in emerging technologies such as microgrids and fuel cells.

Covid 19 pandemic reinforces trends in the energy industry

The live session with the greatest participation was the panel discussion on the Future of Power Generation, Sustainability and Energy Independence, which was moderated by Michael Wagner, Director of Power Gen Business Development, and included Andreas Goertz, Vice President of Power Generation, Cordelia Theilitz, Vice President of Microgrids, Al Prosser, Director of Power Gen Sales, North America and Carsten Schrick, Director of Microgrid and Gas Sales, Americas.

According to Andreas Goertz, the global trends of decarbonization, decentralization, electrification and digitalization are the same as last year, with some being intensified by the current COVID19 pandemic.

“We see strong programs in countries around the world driving for greener energy and less carbon emission. Closely linked is the trend of decentralization with more local grids, microgrids and not big power stations with gigawatts of power. We also see companies investing in electric mobility and fostered by the Corona crisis, we already see an increasing demand for digitalization and data centers around the globe.”

New Microgrid in Aiken

Focusing in on the decentralization trend, the next highest attended session was a panel discussion on Microgrid Solutions and Practical Examples that included both mtu and industry experts. The session began with the newly completed video on the installation of the microgrid at the MTU Aiken Plant in South Carolina. It proceeded to introduce the trends that are incentivizing end users to install microgrids to manage their own energy needs and discussed the technical, commercial and regulatory climate for microgrids in North America.

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