Conference Program

Use the buttons below to view the full conference program or download the program as a PDF.

Sunday, December 9


Conference Registration - Atlantis Ballroom Foyer


Exhibitor Trade Show Set-Up - Atlantis CDE


Master Class: Microgrids for Enhanced Resiliency and Efficiency - Atlantis A

This is an in-depth, fast-paced curriculum, intended for experienced energy professionals seeking advanced guidance on industry best-practices on design, operation and optimization of mission-critical microgrids to provide enhanced resiliency and efficiency.

The 4.5 hour classroom style course will be taught by Ted Borer, Energy Plant Manager at Princeton University, a globally-recognized microgrid expert, drawing lessons from 15+ years direct experience integrating and optimizing 15 MW natural gas CHP; 4.6 MW solar PV; 20,000 tons of chiller capacity and thermal storage with an advanced grid control platform to reduce emissions, cut costs and energy use while providing highly reliable power, heat and cooling to 150 buildings, including mission-critical research. Attendees will engage in problem solving and in-depth discussions with the instructor and receive a certificate of attendance on completion.
Instructor: Ted Borer, Borer Energy Engineering, LLC

Ribbon Cutting and Welcome Reception with Business Partner Exhibitors - Atlantis CDE

Monday, December 10


Conference Registration - Atlantis Ballroom Foyer


Continental Breakfast with IDEA Business Partner Exhibitors - Atlantis CDE


Speaker Orientation Meeting - Majlis


Conference Opening Session - Atlantis B

Playing of the UAE National Anthem
Opening Remarks - Rob Thornton, President & CEO, IDEA
IDEA Chairman's Address - Jim Lodge, Chair, IDEA
Welcome Address - Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO, Empower; Conference General Chair

Opening Plenary Panel Discussion: Efficient Energy for Smarter Cities - Atlantis B

Senior industry executives share perspectives on district cooling for smarter cities.

Invited Panelists include:
Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO, Empower
Jim Lodge, Vice President Strategy, Clearway Energy
Werner Lutsch, Managing Director & CEO, AGFW
Adib Moubadder, CEO, Emicool
Tom Nyquist, Executive Director Engineering & Utilities, Princeton University
Juan Ontiveros, Assistant Vice President, Energy & Utilities, University of Texas at Austin
Michael Schack, Director, Networks & Cogeneration/District Energy, ENGIE
Abdul Salam Al Mobayed, CEO, Saudi Tabreed Operations

Moderator:Robert Thornton, IDEA

Panel Discussion: Operational Excellence - Global Best Practices and Strategies - Atlantis B

System design and technology choices are fundamental to building a district energy system expected to perform efficiently and reliably 24/7/365. However good design needs to be supported by strategies for operation, maintenance, monitoring, data gathering and optimization that leverage design and anticipate life cycle needs to provide quality service to customers.

The design phase of a system is very short in comparison to many decades of operation. The panel will share innovative best practices and proven tools and techniques that result in operational excellence, optimized use of energy and water and quality of service. The impact of efficient systems on the carbon footprint will also be highlighted.

Invited Panelists include:
Tariq Al Yasi, Chief Operation and Maintenance Officer, Empower
Ted Borer, Energy Plant Manager, Princeton University
Thomas Bosse, Head of Programmes, Dubai Carbon
Sam Chatterton, Vice President, Johnson Controls, Inc.
Joan Kowal, Senior Director, Energy & Utilities, Emory University
Bruce Ander, President & CEO, Markham District Energy
Robert Smith, Vice President, RMF Engineering

Moderator:Laxmi Rao, IDEA

Refreshment Break with IDEA Business Partner Exhibitors - Atlantis CDE


Panel Discussion: Financing the District + Energy Enterprise - Atlantis B

District energy growth depends on the availability of both short term and long term sources of funds. The economic success of district energy systems relies on the sharing of risk and the pricing of capital to enable the provision of world-class cooling services to a rapidly growing customer base. The panel will discuss what makes a district energy project “bankable”. What information and diligence is required prior to seeking financing as well as how to manage and optimize funds flow over the changing needs of the project’s lifecycle. Panelists will be drawn from leaders in the regional banking, finance and district energy sectors.

Invited Panelists include:
Anuj Chabra, Executive Director, Project & Export Finance, Standard Chartered
David Dubin, Managing Director, Head of Infrastructure Financing, Citibank
Khatija Haque, Head of MENA Research, EmiratesNBD
Aditya Kotibhaskar, Senior Director, Debt Capital Market, Corporate Finance, Mashreq
Jim Lodge, Vice President Strategy, Clearway Energy
Moderator:Rob Thornton, IDEA

IDEA Networking Luncheon - Silk Ballroom


Dessert & Coffee with Business Partner Exhibitors - Atlantis CDE

Track 1A - Exposing the Full Value of District Energy

Location - Atlantis A
Moderator - Karl Murietta, FVB Energy

Track 1B - Extending the Opportunity for District Cooling

Location - Atlantis B
Moderator - Ahmed Abdelghani, Allied Consultants


Don't Let the Value of District Energy Stay Buried With Your Pipes, Expose the Value! - Jim Lodge, Clearway Energy

Options for Combined Cooling and Power - Chris Lyons, Solar Turbines


Saudization: Empowering Nationals in the District Cooling Industry, Advantages Vs. Challenges - Abdulsalam Almobayed, Saudi Tabreed Operation & Maintenance Co.

Using TES to Save Both DC Operating AND Capital Costs, A GCC and North American Perspective - Saoud Al Dosari, Empower


Refreshment Break with Business Partner Exhibitors - Atlantis CDE

Track 2A - Design & Data Challenges for Performance Excellence

Location - Atlantis A
Moderator - George Berbari, DC Pro Engineering

Track 2B - Smart Approaches for Metering, Controls and Optimization

Location - Atlantis B
Moderator - Juan Ontiveros, University of Texas at Austin


Existing Plants Upgrade/Expansion: Design Considerations, Challenges & Lessons Learned - Hesham El Shaarawy, Empower

Smart Metering & Energy Solutions - Roman Tost, Landis+Gyr GmbH


Delta T vs. Delta T - Gary Hicks, Delta District Cooling

Advanced Control Technologies in Chilled Water Systems - Colin Bridges, Belimo Automation


Reception with Business Partner Exhibitors - Atlantis CDE


Gala Dinner - Asateer Tent

Graciously Hosted by Empower

Tuesday, December 11


Conference Registration - Atlantis Ballroom Foyer


Continental Breakfast with IDEA Business Partner Exhibitors - Atlantis CDE


Speaker Orientation Meeting - Atlantis A

Track 3A - Strategies for Improving Efficiency

Location - Atlantis A
Moderator - Joan Kowal, Emory University

Track 3B - Cooling Towers and District Cooling

Location - Atlantis B
Moderator - Luca Paolella, Daikin


Third Expansion of Holy Haram Makkah District Energy Chiller Plants in Shamiya and Ajyad - Amar Farjo, Johnson Controls

Recent Developments in Motor Technology Allow Direct Drive of Low Speed Cooling Tower Fans - Paul Humbert, Tower Engineering, Inc


Holistic Approaches to Efficiency in Operations - Juan Ontiveros, University of Texas at Austin

Design Considerations for Achieving Optimum Cooling Tower Performance - Jelle Wagelmans & Georges Hoeterickx, EVAPCO Europe BVBA



Scandinavian Energy Efficiency Technologies and Best Practices in Advanced District Cooling - Lars Hummelmose, Danish Board of District Heating; Serhan Ozten, Danfoss; Iqbal Hussain, Frese; Hatem Shaban, AVK Flow Control; Erik Hansen, Iron Pump; Hammam Soliman, Aalborg CSP

Advantages of Integrating Non-Hazardous Disinfection Systems in DCP - Kingson Jebaraj, Innovative Water & Energy Technologies

Improving Chiller Efficiency & Sustainability via Tube Fouling Prevention - Michael Crocker, Innovas Technologies


Refreshment Break with Business Partner Exhibitors - Atlantis CDE

Track 4A - Sustainable Cities, Community Transformation and Energy Budgets

Location - Atlantis A
Moderator - Bob Smith, RMF Engineering

Track 4B - Symposium: ETS Operational Efficiency Through Automation and Machine Learning

Location - Atlantis B
Moderator - Kapil Deb Pal, Evapco



DHC as Backbones of Sustainable Cities - Michael Schack, ENGIE

The Energy Budget - George Berbari, DC PRO Engineering

Use of Statistical Process Control for the Plant, Network and ETS - Veerendran Krishnan, Empower

Plant Operational Audit & Optimization - Jad Honeine, Empower

ETS Automatic Verification Tests - Taha Fahim, Empower

ETS Temperature Control with Cascade and Feed Forward Control - Shamma Bin Lahej, Empower


Avoiding a Deep Dive into Shallow Waters...Navigating the Pitfalls of Chiller Technology Trade-Offs - Brian Smith, Johnson Controls

The Evolution of the University of Texas at Austin Cooling System & How to Apply their Successes to District Energy Systems in the Middle East – Juan Ontiveros, University of Texas at Austin; Ben Erpelding, Optimum Energy


Town Hall: Global Expertise, Innovation and Solutions - Atlantis A/Silk

An expert delegation from the USA, Canada and Europe will be available to share expertise, accomplishments, innovation, and best practices with attendees in a Town Hall setting.
Conference attendees will have a unique opportunity to ask the experts questions and engage in dialogue on topics of interest, challenges, opportunities and key issues in District Cooling, Microgrids, Thermal Energy Storage, System Optimization, the Energy/Water Nexus and Customer Expectations.
An in-depth discussion of approaches and strategies that have helped the experts will provide a knowledge sharing experience and make connections that will enable continued conversation after the conference with its focus on Efficient Energy for Smarter Cities.

International Experts Delegation includes:
Bruce Ander, President & CEO, Markham District Energy, Canada
Ted Borer, Energy Plant Manager, Princeton University, USA
Joan Kowal, Senior Director, Energy & Utilities, Emory University, USA
Jim Lodge, Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, Clearway Energy, USA
Werner Lutsch, Managing Director & CEO, AGFW and President, Euroheat & Power, Germany
Chris Lyons, Manager, Strategic Growth & Special Projects, Solar Turbines, USA
Tom Nyquist, Executive Director, Facilities Engineering & Campus Energy, Princeton University, USA
Juan Ontiveros, Associate Vice President, Utilities, Energy & Facilities Management, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Robert Smith, Vice President, RMF Engineering, USA

Moderator:Rob Thornton, IDEA

IDEA Networking Luncheon & Pre-Tour Briefing - Atlantis B


Technical Tours - Depart from Atlantis Lobby

Tour A: Empower Plant Room, Palm Jumeirah Crescent 2
Tour B: Atlantis Hotel District Cooling Energy Transfer Station, Filtration Room and Aquarium Operations

Workshop Program

IDEA is pleased to announce a Special Workshop - "Master Class on Microgrids" by Ted Borer of Princeton University and Borer Energy Engineering, LLC. This 4.5 hour course is an in-depth, fast-paced curriculum, intended for experienced energy professionals seeking advanced guidance on industry best-practices on operating mission-critical microgrids for enhanced resiliency and efficiency.

Learn More

Technical Tours

Technical Tours will visit local district energy facilities on Tuesday, December 11. All Technical Tours include a Pre-Tour Briefing during the IDEA Networking Luncheon where you can enjoy lunch while tour hosts share brief overview presentations of the systems you will visit on the tour.

Due to space limitations, tour registrations are limited and must be completed in advance of the conference. A waitlist will become available as tours reach capacity.

More Information