Tuesday, June 1, 2010
5:45 p.m. – Networking Reception
6:30 p.m. – Presentation
The clean energy economy is taking shape. And – as with all new industries – companies, nations and cities are vying for leadership positions. Austin is uniquely qualified to lead in the 21st century energy industry, and the Pecan Street Project is an early indicator that we’re competing with the rest of the world.
Sparked in 2008 by UT’s Austin Technology Incubator and then-councilmember Brewster McCracken, the Pecan Street Project grew to a collaborative effort that included Austin Energy, Environmental Defense Fund, the Greater Austin Chamber, dozens of professors and staff from UT and a dozen local and national corporations. Their mission: devise a roadmap to the energy system of the future that’s reliable and affordable, that protects the environment and creates economic development opportunities for Central Texas. What started in 2008 has become one of the countries most closely-watched “smart grid” collaborations, and has the potential to place Austin atop the list of cities vying for the title of “clean energy capital” of the world.
Brewster McCracken is Executive Director of Pecan Street Project Inc., a clean energy/smart grid research and development organization headquartered at The University of Texas at Austin. In collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pecan Street is developing and implementing smart grid and clean energy technologies and business models.
Mr. McCracken was the lead author of Pecan Street’s successful federal stimulus application. Pecan Street’s stimulus project, funded under the Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Demonstration Project fund, is developing an advanced Energy Internet at the 711-acre Mueller mixed-use development in Austin.
Brewster was elected to two terms on the Austin City Council (elected at large), and he served as the Council’s Mayor Pro Tem. Through his elected position, he also served as a board member for Austin Energy, the nation’s fourth largest municipally owned utility.
In 2008, he led the creation of the Pecan Street Project. In 2007, he made Austin Energy the first utility in the nation to open its grid for emerging clean energy companies to beta test their technologies.
Mr. McCracken was the national development co-chair for the Congress for the New Urbanism’s 2008 Congress, and he is a founding member and board member of the CNU Austin-San Antonio chapter. He is the lead author of Austin’s Urban Design Standards and Mixed Use Ordinance. He was named a national nominee for the American Planning Association’s Distinguished Leadership Award for an Elected Official for his efforts.