Each year, The Energy Fair features speakers who are leading efforts to make our world more sustainable and equitable. Past speakers have included host of Democracy Now! Amy Goodman, director of the documentary “Gasland” Josh Fox, author and founder of 350.org Bill McKibben, and many more. Check out the 2016 line-up or watch recordings from the 2015 speakers below.
2017 Keynote Speakers
Chief Technical Officer (CTO) and co-founder of Tesla Motors
Saturday, June 17, 2017 – 6:00 p.m.
JB Straubel is the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) and co-founder of Tesla Motors. At Tesla, JB manages the technical direction and engineering design of the Tesla products including battery technology, power electronics, motors, software, firmware and controls. JB also created and manages many important Tesla initiatives including: the Tesla Energy business providing grid storage for commercial utilities and residential consumers; the worldwide Tesla Supercharger network of fast DC chargers; and the Tesla Gigafactory which is leading the way toward increasing worldwide battery production and lowering the cost per kWh. He also has responsibility for new technology evaluation, R&D, technical diligence review of key vendors, and building partner relationships.
In addition to his work at Tesla, JB has served on the Board of Directors for Solar City, the leading US residential solar company, since their founding. He is also a lecturer at his alma mater, Stanford University, where he created and teaches an engineering class and lab focused on energy storage integration (CEE 176C) in the Engineering Department.
JB has had a lifelong interest in electric vehicles, including rebuilding an electric gold cart at the age of 14, building an Electric Porsche 944 that held a world EV racing record, solar car racing and building a hybrid trailer system that he designed while in college. In 2008 the MIT Technology Review chose JB as “#1 Innovator of 35 under 35 for the year”. In 2009 DesignNews named him “Engineer of the Year”. And in 2015 he was listed as #2 on Fortune’s 40 under 40 most influential business and innovation leaders. JB in an inventor on over 30 patents covering most areas of Tesla’s core battery, motor and controls systems.
He received a BS in Energy Systems Engineering and an MS in Energy Engineering, emphasis on energy conversion, both from Stanford University. Outside of Tesla Motors, Straubel is also an active cyclist and pilot and holds private pilot, instrument, glider and multi-engine ratings.
JB Straubel’s keynote supported by a grant fund through Incourage.
2016 Keynote Speakers
Distinguished Political-Financial Expert, Journalist & Author
Prins is widely sought-after for her unique perspective on politics, finance, and the economy. She is author of the recent All the Presidents’ Bankers, about the relationships between presidents and key bankers during the past century and the impact on domestic and foreign policy.
J. Drake Hamilton
Science Policy Director at Fresh Energy
J. Drake Hamilton is a renowned expert in science-based climate policy at the state and national levels, leading on implementation of carbon reduction policies at the scale of the global warming problem.
Director of Democratic Energy at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance
John Farrell is widely known as the guru of distributed energy, best known for his vivid illustrations of the economic and environmental benefits of local ownership of decentralized renewable energy.
Ngalula Sandrine Mubenga is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of SMIN Power Group which has offices in the DRC and in the USA and specializes in providing affordable electricity to communities using renewable energies.
Organic Farmer, Owner, Stoney Acres Farm
Saturday, June 18 at 9:00 a.m. on the Main Stage during the Organic Valley breakfast
Tony Schultz is an organic farmer and owner of Stoney Acres Farm in Athens, WI, and he’s a passionate advocate for the family farm. Each Friday in the summer, his farm holds a community pizza night, drawing hundreds of people and attracting national media coverage.
Professor and Program Coordinator, Electrical Technology, Business and Technology Division, Kankakee Community College
Tim Wilhelm is Professor and Program Coordinator in the Electrical Technology, Business and Technology Division at Kankakee Community College.
If there is someone you would like to hear speak in 2017, please contact Allison at allisonl (at) midwestrenew.org.
2015 Keynote Speakers
Immediate Past Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
Friday, June 19, 2015 – 1:00 p.m.
Jon Wellinghoff is an internationally recognized energy expert and energy law attorney. As Chairman of the FERC, he advocated for a stronger national power grid through the use of renewable energy. Learn more
Author of “Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works”
Sunday, June 21, 2015 – 1:00 p.m.
Atina Diffley is an organic farmer, educator, activist, and author of the 2013 Minnesota Book Award winner, “Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works.” Learn more
Partner, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
Friday, June 19, 2015 – 1:00 p.m. (introducing John Wellinghoff)
Eric Callisto is a partner in the Madison office of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, where his practice focuses on energy, utility, and environmental matters. Learn more
Farmer and Wisconsin Farmers Union Representative
Saturday, June 20, 2015 – 9:00 a.m.
Sarah is a dairy farmer and organizer, working off-farm with the Wisconsin Farmers Union, Midwest CSA Conference, and the Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative. Learn more
Custer, WI Fair
2017 Dates and Hours
Friday, June 16 - 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Saturday, June 17 - 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sunday, June 18 - 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Midwest Renewable Energy Association
7558 Deer Road, Custer, WI 54423
St. Paul, MN Fair
2017 Dates and Hours
Friday, September 8 - Professional Day
Saturday, Sept. 9 - 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sunday, Sept. 10 - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Minnesota Advisory Committee
Clean Energy Resource Teams
Community Member - Barbara Porwit
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Minnesota Renewable Energy Society
Renewable Energy Partners
Neighborhood Energy Connection
Sunny Day Earth Solutions
Harriet Island Park
200 Dr Justus Ohage Blvd
St Paul, MN 55107