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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 29, 2009
MEDIA CONTACT: Leah Mohr, Communications Manager, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201

Energy is focus of PUC conference in May

PIERRE, S.D. – Experts from across the nation will soon gather in Sioux Falls to share advice, perspective and ideas about the future of energy at a conference hosted by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. The conference, "Crisis or Renaissance, The State of America's Energy" will be held May 11-13 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. Complete event details are online at

More than 20 presenters will address a variety of energy issues such as wind, transmission, coal and natural gas.  Commissioner Marc Spitzer of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Jim Sims, CEO of the Western Business Roundtable, are slated to give keynote presentations at the Tuesday and Wednesday luncheons, respectively.

"The amount of experience and institutional knowledge these presenters have is impressive and the session topics are integral to the nation's energy discussion and debate," said PUC Commissioner Gary Hanson, the conference organizer. Speakers representing the Solar Electric Power Association, Nuclear Energy Institute, American Coalition for Ethanol, National Biodiesel Board and the American Petroleum Institute are on the conference agenda. Additionally, presentations will be given on how energy efficiency, hydroelectric power, geothermal technologies, hydrogen production and other practices and resources fit into our country's current and future energy mix, he said.

The PUC is expecting attendees from throughout South Dakota as well as from neighboring states. Hanson said registrants to-date represent people from all walks of life who have an interest in learning more about all of the renewable energy resources as well as the future of traditional energy supplies.

The state's energy providers are helping to sponsor the conference, said Hanson. "We are really pleased with the tremendous support from the energy industry," he commented. Conference sponsors include NorthWestern Energy, Xcel Energy, Black Hills Power, Missouri River Energy Services, Otter Tail Power Co., Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., Heartland Consumers Power District, Basin Electric and South Dakota's Electric Cooperatives, MidAmerican Energy Co., and National Wind.

The conference begins with an evening welcome reception on May 11 and includes sessions and luncheons May 12 and 13. Register at or call the PUC at (605) 773-3201 for information.