ARLINGTON, VA.--()--Juan Ontiveros of The University of Texas at Austin was elected 2009-2010 chair of the International District Energy Association (IDEA) at the organization’s annual meeting held yesterday during its 100th Annual Conference & Trade Show in Arlington, Va. He will head a board with 21 directors from the United States and Canada.
“UT Austin’s accomplishments under Juan’s leadership are a testament to his vision and commitment to the tenets of energy efficiency as a means for environmental stewardship”
David Toombs, Citizens Thermal Energy, was elected vice chair; Vincent Badali, Con Edison Steam Operations, was elected second vice chair; and Thomas Guglielmi, NRG Thermal LLC, was re-elected secretary/treasurer. Dennis Fotinos, Enwave Energy Corp., will serve as immediate past chair. Newly elected and re-elected board members to serve three-year terms are Joseph Brillhart, Johnson Controls Inc.; Kurt Liebendorfer, Stellar; Chris Lyons, Solar Turbines Inc.; Ann McIver, Citizens Thermal Energy; Stewart Wood, Veolia Energy North America; and Jeffrey Zumwalt, University of New Mexico. Stephen Swinson, Thermal Energy Corp., was elected for a one-year term completing the term of a recently resigned board member.
New chairman Ontiveros is executive director of utilities and energy management at UT Austin, where he oversees all planning, operations and maintenance for district energy, combined heat and power (CHP) and other systems serving 16 million square feet of space in 200 buildings. He has been an IDEA member since 1999 and has served on the association’s board of directors since 2003.
During his 11-year tenure at UT Austin, Ontiveros has directed several major utility improvements, raising overall CHP system efficiency to exceed 80 percent and expanding capacity to serve 18 percent more square feet of building space while energy use increased just 2 percent. UT Austin operates one of the largest combined heat and power systems serving a U.S. institution.
“UT Austin’s accomplishments under Juan’s leadership are a testament to his vision and commitment to the tenets of energy efficiency as a means for environmental stewardship,” says Robert P. Thornton, president, IDEA. “With his practical experience in district energy operations and skills as an engineer and utilities director, he has established a track record of managing large assets and motivating a large staff with outstanding results. Juan is the ideal industry leader to keep our organization on the right path as we move into our next 100 years of informing, connecting and advancing the district energy and combined heat and power industries.”
“I am eager to engage with IDEA members from Denver to Dubai,” says Ontiveros. “I look forward to working together to leverage our district energy systems’ economies of scale and achieve even greater efficiencies for the campuses and communities we serve.”
In addition to IDEA, Ontiveros is also a member and past president of the Texas Association of Physical Plant Administrators of Universities and Colleges. He has served on the Texas Comptrollers Energy Efficiency Task Force and on various Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board committees. He is also longtime member of APPA, an association of higher education facilities officers, and on the faculty of its Institute of Facilities Management.
In November 2008, Ontiveros was appointed to a National Research Council committee to help make the Capitol Power Plant in Washington, D.C., more energy efficient. He and the UT Austin systems he oversees also have received a number of awards, including the 2008 Texas Environmental Excellence Award for Large Business/Industrial Systems from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the 2005 ENERGY STAR® CHP Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the 2004 Outstanding Supervisor Award from UT Austin.
A licensed engineer, Ontiveros has more than 25 years’ experience in facility design, construction, master planning and operations. Prior to his work at UT Austin, he was facilities services director at The University of Texas at El Paso. Previously he operated and maintained test facilities as engineering department manager for Dynaspan Services Co. at the White Sands Missile Range.
District energy is an efficient, environmentally responsible method of heating and cooling buildings. District energy systems produce steam, hot water or chilled water at a central plant. The steam or water is then piped underground to individual buildings within a designated area for heating, cooling or use in industrial processes. A video showing how the technology works is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3ef6dz8BGg.
Combined heat and power is a proven, effective technology to increase the efficiency of power plants. Standard power plants effectively convert just 40 percent of the fuel they burn into useful electricity. Sixty percent of the fuel ends up being wasted up the smokestack or into waterways as surplus or ’waste‘ heat. Combined heat and power systems recover and use this surplus heat to heat and/or cool buildings in a surrounding area through a district energy system.
About International District Energy Association
With headquarters outside of Boston, Mass., the 1,200-plus-member IDEA was founded in 1909 and comprises district heating and cooling executives, managers, engineers, consultants and equipment suppliers from 25 countries. Its core mission is to support the growth and utilization of district energy as a means to conserve fuel and increase energy efficiency to improve the global environment. During its 100 years of operation, the association has held a conference every year except 1918 when it was cancelled because of World War I. For more on IDEA, go to www.districtenergy.org.
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