DistrictCooling2018 Proceedings


Conference Overview

DistrictCooling2018 brought together experienced professionals from across the Gulf Region, North America, Europe and Asia Pacific to share best practices and innovative approaches, strategies and solutions.

Conference Theme – “Efficient Energy for Smarter Cities” – As urban populations grow, particularly in warmer climates, cities are turning to district cooling infrastructure to conserve resources, reduce energy waste and deliver critical services to rapidly-growing dense urban centers. The UN Environment District Energy in Cities Initiative outlines district cooling as a key strategy from the COP 21 Climate Agreement in Paris, especially for cities seeking to improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions, conserve water and support sustainable economic development. During this era of increasing urbanization, energy insecurity and climate change mitigation, district cooling is gaining traction across the Middle East and Asia Pacific Region to support smarter urban growth.

Master Class: Microgrids for Enhanced Resiliency and Efficiency

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. During the 4.5 hour classroom style course, attendees engaged in problem solving and in-depth discussions with the instructor.

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. 

Opening Plenary Panel Discussion: Efficient Energy for Smarter Cities

Global Leaders Panel – Senior industry executives share perspectives on district cooling for smarter cities.

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

Panel Discussion: Operational Excellence - Global Best Practice and Strategies

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.

Tariq Al Yasi, Chief Operation and Maintenance Officer, Empower
Bruce Ander, President & CEO, Markham District Energy
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
Robert Smith, Vice President, RMF Engineering

Panel Discussion: Financing the District Energy Enterprise

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. 

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

Town Hall: Global Expertise, Innovation, and Solutions

An expert delegation from the USA, Canada and Europe shared their expertise, accomplishments, innovation, and best practices with attendees in a Town Hall setting.

Conference attendees had 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 provided a knowledge sharing experience and made connections that will enable continued conversation after the conference.

The International Experts Delegation:
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

District Energy in Cities

International Perspectives

Master Planning and System Design

Metering and Controls


Thermal Distribution



All conference attendees are welcome to download and use any photos they would like from our conference in Dubai.

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Conference Exhibitors

Leading industry business partners exhibit at DistrictCooling2018.


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Conference Sponsors