[email protected]
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

QUESTtalks: Innovation – Collaborating Across Sectors on Smart Energy Solutions

May 22 @ 10:00 am - 4:30 pm MDT


In the transition to cleaner energy, innovation is changing the way energy is delivered. This is creating disruption and the pace of change is unprecedented. While the energy systems of tomorrow will look mostly the same to the average Canadian, the rules and players will not. Policymakers want to be prepared as opposed to reactionary. Businesses are focused on staying competitive in the face of new opportunities. Communities see distributed energy as a revenue opportunity and are forming partnerships to generate energy locally. This QUESTtalk explored the question – In this new world of innovative technology and business models, how will policymakers, businesses, and communities adapt?

Interested in sponsoring an upcoming event? Contact Helen Platis to learn more.



May 22, 2019

10:00 am

Options to tour the Green Building Technologies Lab and Demonstration Centre or join QUEST’s National District Energy Network Working Group Meeting as a guest.

11:30 am

Macdonald Hall (Located in Heritage Hall, the entrance to the hall is located on the main floor), SAIT Main Campus, 1301 16 Ave. NW, Calgary, AB T2M 0L4

11:45 AM

Light lunch and networking

12:30 Pm
Opening Remarks

With Tonja Leach, QUEST’s Executive Director

1:00 pm


In this new world of innovative smart energy technology and business models, how will policymakers, businesses, and communities adapt?

Moderator: Maureen Kolla, Manager – Clean Heat and Power, Alberta Innovates 


  • Mark Speaker, Industry Solutions Executive, Microsoft Canada
  • Allan Fogwill, President & CEO, Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI)
  • Tanya Doran – Associate, Business Centre Sector Lead, Buildings
  • Patricia Bourne, CEO, EQUS REA LTD.



2:30 PM
Networking Break
3:00 PM
Tabletop Discussions


Tabletops are interactive discussions of about 5 people which are led by a subject matter expert. Groups will answer a series of short questions that will help shape the QUESTtalks: Innovation Summary Report.

3:45 PM
Tabletop Discussion Debrief
4:15 PM
Wrap Up


Mark Speaker

Industry Solutions Executive, Microsoft Canada

Mark Speaker is the Industry Solutions Executive for Microsoft Canada covering Oil and Gas, Forestry, Pulp and Paper, Mining and Discrete Manufacturing. Mark brings over 20 years of experience in the industrial space working with industry leaders in both technology and business to advance their thinking around emerging technologies and innovative concepts.

He is known for guiding customers in conversations that are important to progress in the operations of businesses such as field worker productivity, industrial data collection and measurement, digital twins of operations, etc. Mark has worked with many industrial companies across Canada to help them envision what their digital transformation could look like. He has recently represented Microsoft in the BC Digital Supercluster bid as the industry representative.

Mark has recently been inducted into Microsoft’s Platinum Club for significant achievements helping customers across Canada. He lives in Calgary, Alberta with his wife and two children.

Tanya Doran

Associate, Business Centre Sector Lead, Buildings, Stantec

Tanya has spent her career championing sustainable design, clean energy and energy efficiency.  From her first role at an electric utility provider to her recent senior roles consulting for large national organizations and the electric transmission council in Edmonton, Tanya has seen the evolution of sustainable design practice across Western Canada.

Tanya brings an incredible passion to her work supporting green buildings in the province, as an advocate for green building certification and resiliency for the built environment in Alberta. With over 20 years’ green experience as a key relationship builder and client focused problem solver; Tanya has gained a solid understanding of industry issues with knowledge from diverse perspectives. Tanya’s past experience as the Executive Director for the Alberta Chapter – Canada Green Building Council, as an expert panelist on the Energy Efficiency Advisory Panel and as the Edmonton Buildings Sector Lead for Stantec, she is able to analyze topics to focus engagement and deliver innovative industry solutions to complex needs and effectively communicate this to our clients. Tanya ensures the team is apprised with all of the complexities and fast-paced changes of sustainability and green building certifications, showcasing Stantec as a leader in the industry.

Maureen Kolla

Senior Manager, Renewable Energy Alberta Innovates, Clean Energy

Maureen Kolla is Senior Manager of Renewable Energy within the Clean Energy Division of Alberta Innovates. She leads the Renewable and Alternative Energy program and is responsible for leading initiatives, developing partnerships, evaluating technologies, and managing projects ranging from applied research to technology demonstration. She works closely with industry, technology developers, government, and other stakeholders to advance clean energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and diversify Alberta’s economy.

Maureen has a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta and received her M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Ryerson University. Maureen is an avid outdoor enthusiast and an accomplished skier, hiker, and cyclist. When not working, you will often find her seeking adventure in the mountains.

Alan Fogwill

President & CEO of the Canadian Energy Research Institute

Allan Fogwill joined CERI in November 2014 as President and CEO. An energy sector executive with over 25 years of experience in both the public and private sector, Mr. Fogwill’s background has focused on economic and market analysis of energy sector issues along with policy development related to energy regulation and efficiency issues. Mr. Fogwill has previously worked for natural gas distribution companies in BC and Ontario and for the Ontario Energy Board dealing with market analysis and the analysis of distribution costs. Prior to assuming his role at CERI, Mr. Fogwill provided regulatory consulting services to local distribution companies in Ontario.

Allan has a Master’s degree from Simon Fraser University in Natural Resources Management and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Saskatchewan in Geography. He has also served as the Chair and CEO of the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance and the Canadian Gas Research Institute.

Patricia Bourne


Pat is the CEO of EQUS REA LTD., a rural-based, rural-focused,  and community-driven, power cooperative that distributes electricity to more than 12,000 homes and businesses across a large part of rural Alberta. She started as the first employee of CAREA, one of the predecessors of EQUS, almost 25 years ago. Under her leadership, the organization has grown from one employee to over one hundred. She has won a Woman’s Award of Excellence in Business and the Professions in Central Alberta and has recently been nominated as a Woman of Excellence by Global TV Edmonton. Pat is on the Board of Directors for Decentralised Energy Canada (DEC). 


1. How Transactive Energy is Changing the Utility Business Model

What kind of regulatory environment or support do utilities and energy service providers need to succeed in this transition?

Led by Justin Pullukatt – Manager, Research & Innovation, ATCO

2. Making the Business Case for Energy Innovation on Campus

There are great opportunities to combine research and application in campus operations. Through
innovation campus can become a living lab where adoption of new technology will achieve larger
goals. This discussion will also explore barriers exist, such as regulations, lack of programming or
funding, and the business case/ROI for smaller campuses.

Led by David Silburn – Associate Director, Sustainable Operations Facilities Management, SAIT

3. Demonstrating the Economics of Building Retrofits Through Innovation

Innovation in our homes and businesses (e.g. connected devices, smart homes, smart energy solutions) works well for new-builds, but how can we best integrate innovative energy solutions into our
existing building stock? Are there innovative  approaches to improve the business case for retrofitting
(e.g. PACE Program, technical solutions, etc.)?

Led by Sarah Stuebing – Communications and Community Investment Manager, Alberta Real Estate Foundation

4. Innovation in Communities – A Grassroots Movement

We are seeing a ‘bottom-up’ push for innovation which is driving change throughout the industry. Where do we see municipalities embracing innovation? What are the opportunities and challenges?

Led by Dawn Smith – Environment and Sustainability Manager, Town of Okotoks

5. Innovation in Indigenous Communities

Indigenous communities have been trailblazers in renewable energy development. This aligns with natural laws supporting stewardship of lands and resources. How can Indigenous communities be further supported so they can continue this important work and foster innovation?

Led by Janet Janvier – Retired Professional, Indigenous Relations Expert and 2014 recipient of the Esquao Award for Community Development

6. The Future of CHP and Other On-site Generation in a Carbon Focused Market

Led by Eric Muller – QUEST Senior Lead, Central Canada on behalf of Jan Buijk, CEO, Gruppo AB

7. Integrated Energy Planning – Combining Engineering, Sustainability, and Resilience

Exploring a holistic and integrated approach to energy planning across the grid, and addressing the challenges in moving away from a siloed approach.

Led by MJ Croonen – VP Energy Canada, AECOM

8.  Net-Zero Carbon

Global commitments are driving Canada to reduce emissions, particularly from the built environment. Discuss what this means in the Alberta context and discover the opportunities and challenges posed by our local electrical grid, available fuel sources, economy, and political environment.

Led by Sam Lane – Associate, Building Performance Engineer, Stantec

9. Exploring Approaches for the Success of Solar in Alberta

Is an incentive for solar PV necessary in Alberta? Should more solar PV should be encouraged, and if so, what is the recommended policy method? This tabletop will discuss the economic, social, and environmental considerations of solar PV generation in Alberta and how it is accommodated in the regulated electrical distribution system.

Led by Tom Jackman – Principal Investigator, SAIT








May 22
10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Event Category:


MacDonald Hall, SAIT Main Campus
1301 16 Ave NW
Calgary, Alberta T2M 0L4 Canada
+ Google Map