NORTH CHARLESTON — In 2011, Clemson University and the government of Canada joined forces to create the Clemson University-Canada Center (CUCC). Since its inception, CUCC has worked with Canada to organize teaching, research and outreach programs. Following the success of a 2015 CUCC program that explored partnership opportunities between the Canadian and southeastern U.S. forestry industries, the recent 2017 effort took a look at North America’s energy future.

Ensuring sustainable supplies of energy is an ongoing challenge; clean energy and grid modernization are essential components of the energy future. Clemson’s Restoration Institute; College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences; and the Consulate General of Canada joined forces to celebrate Clemson-Canada Energy Day which was observed on Monday, March 13.

Through a series of three roundtables (wind, solar and grid modernization), U.S. and Canadian experts discussed clean energy opportunities and challenges for Canada and the U.S. and issues around grid modernization. The Clemson-Canada Energy Day included dialogue on policy frameworks for the energy future of Canadian provinces and U.S states from the Southeast, as well as utilities (privately & publicly owned), solar and wind energy producers, companies and researchers.

Beyond the roundtables, B2B sessions connected Canadian and U.S. companies, researchers working on clean energy and advancing technology, universities, government and utility companies with specific requirements for parts, services, testing and R&D. Notable attendees include Louise Blais, consul general for Canada in the Southeastern United States; Elizabeth Colbert Busch, director of corporate relations and community affairs, Clemson University Restoration Institute; Randy Collins, interim associate vice president for the Lowcountry; David Wilkins, former U.S. ambassador to Canada, partner in Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough and Clemson trustee; and Anita Zucker, chairman and CEO, The InterTech Group. U.S. Department of Energy Wind and Water Director Jose Zayas delivered the keynote luncheon address.

“This was an amazing opportunity to have real leaders and policy-makers from both sides talking and collaborating, with the ultimate goal being to further expand the relationship not just between Clemson and Canada, but our two countries,” said Colbert-Busch.

The event was held at the Zucker Family Graduate Education Center, 1240 Supply St. in North Charleston. For more information on the Clemson Canada Center, visit https://www.clemson.edu/centers-institutes/canada.