Virent CEO will keynote Wisconsin Bioenergy Summit on Oct. 28

Lee Edwards, president and chief executive officer of Madison’s Virent Energy Systems, will deliver the keynote address at the second annual Wisconsin Bioenergy Summit at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, at the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St.

Edwards’ talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled “Beyond the Blend Wall: Fungible Advanced Biofuels Position Biomass as the Next Strategic Resource” and will focus on the opportunity and potential for innovative technologies to speed the use of biomass as a renewable energy source to replace dependence on petroleum.

Edwards will also discuss the opportunities and challenges to maximizing the value and effective use of biomass, the Midwest region’s key resource.

Bringing more than 25 years of global energy leadership and petroleum industry experience to Madison, Edwards was most recently president and chief executive officer of BP Solar, a global solar technology provider with 2,200 employees and $1 billion in sales.

Virent has 80 employees in a state-of-the-art catalytic biorefining development facility. The firm is a leader in advanced biofuels technologies, and its BioForming process has won numerous technology and innovation awards.

The second annual Wisconsin Bioenergy Summit, is hosted by the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative, a university-based coalition of scientists and industry professionals that helps the innovative talent in Wisconsin create, commercialize, and promote bioenergy solutions.

The summit continues at the Pyle Center at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 29, with a full day of interactive panel sessions. This year’s event will focus on growing Wisconsin’s future in a bio-based economy, and will feature presentations from multidisciplinary university experts, state policymakers, and innovators from the private sector. UW-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is co-sponsoring the free event.

For more information, visit