Introductory RETScreen Training Workshop – Danville, VA

Introductory RETScreen Training Workshop – Danville, VA
Event on 2012-12-06 08:30:00

This particular workshop is funded inpart by a grant awarded to Virginia Cooperative Extension by the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission to assist farmers to identify improvements with energy usage and options for more efficient equipment and production systems. This program is supported by Virginia Cooperative Extension's Community Viability Specialist and the Virginia Tech Biological Systems Engineering Department 


What is RETScreen?

“The RETScreen Clean Energy Project Analysis Software is the world’s leading clean energy decision-making software. It is provided completely free-of-charge by the Government of Canada. RETScreen significantly reduces the costs (both financial and time) associated with identifying and assessing potential energy projects. These costs, which arise at the pre-feasibility, feasibility, development, and engineering stages, can be substantial barriers to the deployment of Renewable-energy and Energy-efficient Technologies (RETs). By helping to break down these barriers, RETScreen reduces the cost of getting projects on the ground and doing business in clean energy. RETScreen allows decision-makers and professionals to determine whether or not a proposed renewable energy, energy efficiency, or cogeneration project makes financial sense. If a project is viable—or if it is not—RETScreen will help the decision-maker understand this: quickly, unequivocally, in a user-friendly format, and at relatively minimal cost.” [Full Excerpt and More Details Available at: RETScreen]

Who Should Attend This Introductory Workshop?

If you are interested in learning more about the features of this project screening tool, please join us for this hands-on workshop. During the session, RETScreen training expert, Michael Ross of RER Energy, Inc., will provide an overview of RETScreen, its various modules and applications, including how it can be used to evaluate:

  • Clean energy generation
  • Costs associated with project design alternatives
  • Potential GHG emission reductions 
  • Financial viability
  • Tools for assessing risks for various types of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies

General Workshop Agenda:

  • Introduction and Course Outline
  • Understanding prefeasibility assessment for energy projects
  • Overview of RETScreen4 software and sample project case studies
  • Highlight the collaboration between Virginia-based NASA Langley Research Center ("Prediction of Worldwide Energy Resource" POWER Lab) and RETScreen 
  • Various hands-on exercises using computer software to explore alternative energy technologies and energy efficiency opportunities
  • Financial Analysis with RETScreen4
  • Discussion of the different technologies that can be assessed within RETScreen4
  • Exploring RETScreen4’s databases: project, climate, product, and benchmark
  • General Overview of RETScreen Plus: Measurement, targeting, verification, and reporting of energy use or production
  • General Overview of other RETScreen modules for assessing supermarkets and arenas, and Clean Energy Policy and Legal tool kits 
  • And more!

PLEASE NOTE: The session on December 6th in Danville will be held at a computer lab and PCs will be available. If you prefer to work off of your personal laptop, you may do so, but please:

  • Be sure to bring your power cord
  • Download and install the RETScreen Software Suite prior to the session
  • For questions regarding installation issues (working on a Macintosh, or Microsoft .NET Framework 4 issues ) please refer to the RETScreen FAQ page

The session will be held at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research at the Institute Conference Center's Room 227, located at 150 Slayton Ave. Danville, VA 24540  location. More details for this facility are available at:


RETScreen Trainer:

Michael M. D. Ross has worked with renewable energy systems and other clean energy technologies for over 17 years.  Michael has held research positions with CanmetENERGY and the Advanced Energy Systems Group of the Department of Technical Physics and Mathematics at Alvar Aalto University, Finland’s premier engineering university.  Since 2001, in addition to consulting extensively for RETScreen® International, Michael has been contracted to provide expertise in building energy modeling and energy efficiency, research on photovoltaic systems, wind energy resource assessment and site selection, assessment of icing losses and mitigation methods for wind turbines, quantification of greenhouse gas emissions associated with various energy technologies, and inspection of residential solar thermal systems. Since 2003, Michael has been the head of RER Energy Inc, which provides services for federal, provincial, and municipal governments as well as utilities, wind developers, engineering consulting firms and private homeowners. Michael has a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo.  RER Energy Inc. is a consultancy focused on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Its main activity is research on system-level topics, including system optimization, component and system characterization, resource assessment, simulation, modelling, and data analysis. One of its specialties is the utilization of renewable energy technologies in cold climates. In addition, RER develops course materials and provides training related to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

With Additional Presentation Material from: 

Dr. Jonah Fogel Presentation on Energy Aspects of Community Planning & Regulations (Recorded)

Jonah is a Community Viability Specialist with Virginia Cooperative Extension. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee in Natural Resources with a minor in Environmental Policy, a Masters of Landscape Architecture from Virginia Tech, and a B.S. in Hydrogeology from Western Michigan University.  As the Community Viability specialist for Virginia Cooperative Extension Jonah serves as a leader in land use planning and policy education, and community food systems.  He has co-developed three Extension curricula for VCE, and has been awarded competitive grants exceeding 0,000.  His work has also led to the development of the Community Food System Explorer, the Richmond Area Food System Council, and developed the Virginia Citizen Planner program. Prior to completing his graduate schooling, Jonah worked as an environmental consultant, conducting soil and groundwater pollution surveys and reporting.  His research interests have centered on the interactions between human decision-making and ecological systems. 


John Ignosh, Area Specialist, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech & Extension- Presentation on Workshop Introduction and Virginia Context (Live)

John Ignosh works to promote the efficient utilization of agricultural byproducts as an Area Specialist with Virginia Cooperative Extension and Virginia Tech’s Department of Biological Systems Engineering. Prior to his current role, John performed air quality research with the University of California – Davis related to aerosols associated with agricultural production in the San Joaquin Valley, as well as nationally regarding  the contribution of fine aerosols to regional haze and public health in protected environments.  He has also worked in international development and served as a resource extension agent with the U.S. Peace Corps.  John is a Certified Energy Manager and Distributed Generation Certified Professional by the Association of Energy Engineers, Certified Forester, and a Certified Nutrient Management Planner.  He holds an M.S. in forest resource management with a minor in water resource science from the University of Minnesota and B.S. in forestry with a minor in Latin American development from The Ohio State University.


Robert Lane, Extension Specialist Seafood, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech & Extension- Presentation on Energy Cost Savings for VA Aquaculture (Recorded)

Thermal and vision food processing, evaluation, validation; time/temperature measurement and analysis; sustainable energy, water, resource and waste management


Dr. Henry Quesada– Presentation on Lean Manufacturing Concepts and Tools (Recorded)

Dr. Henry Quesada works for the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials at Virginia has an expert in business management and operations research. His academic program focuses on process improvement for service and manufacturing firms and he has over 12 years of experience as a consultant and researcher in medical device components, forest products, microelectronic, financial, and telecommunications industry sectors


Dr. David Sample –Presentation on Aspects of Energy Usage and Runoff Reduction Associated with Green Roofs (Recorded)

David is an assistant professor and extension specialist in the department of Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech. He received a BS and ME from the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL) in environmental engineering and a PhD from the University of Colorado (Boulder, CO) in Civil Engineering (Water resources).  Dr. Sample has approximately 22 years of experience including both consulting and municipal government before coming to Virginia Tech in 2008.  Dr. Sample’s research focuses upon improving our management of urban water.  He is currently researching the effectiveness of different Low Impact Development (LID) Practices and other Best Management Practices (BMPs) with innovative designs.  Dr. Sample has developed numerous natural and urban watershed models, developed monitoring plans, and conducted watershed improvement plans; including economic analysis of alternatives.  Dr. Sample is a registered engineer in over 7 states, and is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers.  In 2008, Dr. Sample was appointed to the U.S. Chesapeake Bay Program Science and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC).  He also has served on the Virginia BMP Clearinghouse for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation since 2008.  He has been a member of the Urban Water Resources Research Council of the American Society of Civil Engineers/Environmental and Water Resources Institute since 2003, and has co-chaired a Task Committee on implementing Low Impact Development in Combined Sewer Areas since 2009.


Dr. Paul Stackhouse Jr., Senior Research Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center (USA)- Presentation Discussing the Collaboration Between NASA and RETScreen & Near Real-Time Solar and Meteorological Data for Monitoring Building Energy Systems using RETScreen International’s Performance Analysis Module (Recorded)

Dr. Paul Stackhouse is a Senior Research Scientist at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. He received his B.S. in Physics and Atmospheric Science from Drexel University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences at Colorado State University. Dr. Stackhouse is lead scientist of the NASA/Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment Surface Radiation Budget Project, and he leads several NASA-funded Applied Science projects that tailor satellite data parameters, along with meteorological input, for the energy-related and agricultural industries. These projects, along with long standing partnerships including RETScreen, have led to internet applications for distributing these data to the clean energy industry.

Dr. Martha Walker, Community Viability Specialist, Virginia Cooperative Extension – Danville, VA – Presentation Discussing the On-Farm Energy Efficiency Pilot Program for Southside and Southwest Virginia (LIVE)

Martha A. Walker is currently serving as one of five Community Viability Specialists with Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE).  Dr. Walker joined VCE in October 2005 after serving for 28 years with the Virginia Community College System at Danville Community College where she taught for 20 years and held the position of Director of Institutional Advancement for 8 years.  In her role with Extension, Dr. Walker works with counties and cities throughout Virginia as well as multiple state agencies.  Since joining Extension she has provided support in assessing community needs, facilitating community-based action plans, and identifying resources from Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, and other state and federal agencies.  Her work is directly linked to and supported by Extension agents and university faculty.  Dr. Walker published the Energy Resource Guide for Virginia website, collaborated with partners to secure .2 million in grant for bio-energy production/commercialization, obtained a ,000 gift and coordinated the publication of “Welcome to the County” a book on life in rural Virginia, and received 8,000 to develop a pilot program for farm energy efficiency.  Dr. Walker launched Virginia Cooperative Extension’s grassroots leadership program, Innovative Leadership:  Building Community Connections, an 18-hour training focused on building leadership skills and knowledge.  Building on the success of the leadership program, Dr. Walker and her colleagues adopted the University of Maine’s Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills program and trained over 40 master trainers to teach the program throughout the Commonwealth. Dr. Walker has a Bachelor’s degree from Averett College, a Master of Science degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Old Dominion University.  She lives in Pittsylvania County with her husband Carroll.   Married for over 35 years, they have two adult children, Jennifer and Matthew, who both graduated with Master’s degrees from Virginia Tech.  Jennifer is a fifth grade mathematics teacher in Pittsylvania County.  Matthew is a Ph.D. student at Virginia Tech and employed as an Information Technology Specialist with Roanoke City Schools.  He and his wife Lorin, a family counselor, live in Roanoke.


ADA Statement 

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact John Ignosh at (540-432-6029/TDD*) during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event. *TDD number is (800) 828-1120.



at Institute for Advanced Learning and Research
Institute Conference Center’s Room 227
Danville, United States

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