MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginia University held its Evolving Energy Conference at the Morgantown Marriott Waterfront hotel on Sept. 20-21.

Formally known as the Trans Tech Energy Conference, the Evolving Energy Conference was renamed to better highlight all of the resources and activity happening across the north central region of Appalachia.

The two-day conference featured discussion topics like reusing mine lands, creating clean hydrogen and the workforce development for the energy sector, all while featuring 17 keynote speakers.

WVU’s Evolving Energy Conference was regional and open to all of the public, featuring collaborations from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

12 News spoke with Dr. Erienne Olesh, executive director of WVU’s Office of Student and Faculty Innovation, on the importance of offering this event to the public.

“The importance of this conference really goes back to our history as this region continues to be such a large energy producer for our country,” Dr. Olesh said. “Eleven percent of our country’s energy comes from West Virginia and Pennsylvania combined which is a tremendous amount. In West Virginia, the backbone of this state has been coal and then more recently the oil and gas sector has also grown with the Utica and Marcellus Shale gas reserves being identified in the early 2000’s.”

Since the conference is regional, next year’s location, date and time have yet to be determined, though WVU does hope to continue this conference annually.