EDAWN media tour touts region’s renewable energy resources | nnbusinessview.com

EDAWN media tour touts region’s renewable energy resources

John Seelmeyer

The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada this week will invest about $3,500 in a whirlwind tour to show off the region’s presence in renewable energy to three journalists who write for national publications.

The potential return on the investment?

“Priceless,” says EDAWN’s Chuck Alvey, taking a page from MasterCard’s marketing.

During a two-day stay, the journalists will hear about green energy research at the University of Nevada, Reno, tour the geothermal facilities at The Peppermill, visit with Gov. Brian Sandoval and other state officials, visit the wind-energy facilities developed by the City of Reno, tour an Ormat Technologies geothermal plant at Galena and the factory of ElectraTherm Inc. and visit with geothermal industry executives who have set up shop in Reno.

Phew.

EDAWN hopes the tour pays off in coverage in publications such as Scientific American, Popular Science, Business Weekly, GreenTech Media and other big-name publications for which the visiting journalists write as freelancers.

“This is part of getting the story out there about one of our target industries,” says EDAWN’s president and chief executive officer.

But Alvey says the economic development agency hopes for a bigger long-term benefit changing the common nationwide impression of northern Nevada as exclusively a gaming economy.

And that, in turn, will help efforts to attract industries from a variety of sectors not just renewable energy to the region.

The Peppermill, which will host the journalists as well as a working lunch at which the reporters will meet with geothermal industry executives, will show off the $9.7 million geothermal system that provides hot water and space heating for the property.

“We’ll show them the pipes, and then bring them into the hotel where they can see all that it does,” says Julia Jeffers-Peaua, a spokeswoman for The Peppermill. “It’s a ‘beauty and the beast’ theme.”

UNR, meanwhile, will be showing off the National Geothermal Academy that’s scheduled to open in June. Researchers will talk about new technologies for explore for geothermal resources and will review a proposal to use geothermal heat in an algae-to-biofuels plant.

The city government will spotlight its use of wind generation, including a wind appliance atop City Hall, says Jason Geddes, the city’s environmental services administrator. The city also will show its “Green Energy Dashboard” that details production from green-energy facilities on city property.

The willingness of the governor to schedule a dinner with the journalists including private interview time with each of them is testimony to the importance that state officials give to development of the green energy sector, Alvey says.

Development Counselors International, a New York City company that specializes in marketing economic-development efforts, helped identify the journalists who will tour the region’s renewable energy infrastructure.


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