With hundreds of district energy experts in attendance, Salas O’Brien’s Rick Humphries and Brian Urlaub are leading insightful sessions at IDEA2024. Register for the four-day event here.

Centered around the P3 delivery model, Rick’s 2:45 p.m. session will emphasize how the model benefits clients like Appalachian State University, as seen in their district energy project. The university is redeveloping a 20-acre campus hilltop site supported by a net-zero carbon district energy system. Due to the P3 delivery model, the project is on track to be completed sooner at a reduced cost—a positive for the client, the community, and the students and staff members of App State.

Rick Humphries, PE is an industry expert bridging the technical, operational, and financial components of energy infrastructure projects. With career experience working from all three perspectives, he is an invaluable resource to owners and project teams in a time of transitioning energy sources, systems, and strategies. Rick serves as a Senior Vice President and a Director of Development at Salas O’Brien.

The P3 delivery model enables faster project completion and lower costs by leveraging private sector expertise and resources. This approach reduces operational risks and accelerates financing, making it a game-changer for large-scale energy infrastructure projects.
Rick HumphriesSVP, Director of Development, Salas O’Brien

The city of Denver is making strides toward decarbonization with the help of Salas O’Brien’s geothermal systems expertise. In his 5:00 p.m. session, Brian will share how Denver wanted to improve its district steam and chilled water system and how the Salas O’Brien team created a cost-effective ambient loop geothermal system to achieve this goal.

As head of Salas O’Brien’s mixed-use and residential district energy system practice, Brian Urlaub is part of a leadership group that has completed more than 400 geothermal projects to date, providing over 84,000 tons of system capacity. Urlaub is a member of the board of directors of IGSHPA, serving as vice chairman, and is past president of the Wisconsin Geothermal Association, past member of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Geothermal Heat Pump Association, and past Advisory Council member of IGHSPA.

Leveraging dynamic performance modeling to optimize the reuse of existing distribution infrastructure can significantly reduce costs and accelerate project timelines in dense urban environments.
Brian UrlaubVP, Director of Geothermal Operations, Salas O’Brien

About IDEA

The International District Energy Association (IDEA) is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit industry association founded in the United States in 1909. IDEA has extensive experience in highly reliable thermal networks, combined heat and power, thermal storage and clean energy management to optimize energy efficiency, emissions reductions, and sustainable solutions for mission-critical and community-scale markets.

About Salas O’Brien

Salas O’Brien is an engineering and technical services firm focused on advancing the human experience through the built environment. Our team is engineered for impact, helping clients achieve critical goals, advancing our team members through growth and opportunity, and operating at the center of important global issues including sustainability and decarbonization. We are a top firm as ranked by Engineering News-Record and Consulting-Specifying Engineer, and we have appeared for the past ten years on the Inc. 5000 list of North America’s fastest-growing private companies.

For more details or to set up an interview, please contact Stacy Lake, Director of Corporate Communications.