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Reynolds lauds Iowa Lakes’ role in wind industry

May 15, 2013
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds held up the Iowa Lakes Community College wind energy and turbine technology program as an exemplar of the wind industry in the noon keynote address at WindTech 2013 at the college Wednesday.

The event was sponsored jointly by Windpower Engineering & Development magazine and Iowa Lakes Community College along with nine corporate sponsors from the wind industry. It's one of four WindTech 2013 events Windpower is holding at colleges around the country this year.

"Iowa Lakes Community College is certainly a good fit for this event," said Reynolds, adding that the college was first in the nation to get the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) seal of approval.

Article Photos

Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds praised the Iowa Lakes Community College wind energy and turbine technology program Wednesday for taking a leadership role in training technicians for the wind energy. Reynolds made her remarks in the keynote address during the second day of WindTech 2013 on the Iowa Lakes Estherville campus. Above, Reynolds spoke with Cody Wilke, Alex Gramowski and Cruz Bowman of the Emmetsburg sixth-grade Cool Wind team about their project.
EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

Reynolds said the state's 80 wind installations provide over 2,300 jobs, making Iowa third in the nation in wind generation behind Texas and California, but the leader per capita in wind energy generation.

Reynolds said MidAmerican Energy is about to make the largest economic investment in the state's history, with 40 percent of its energy to be generated from wind. She also noted Facebook will be investing $300 in a facility in Iowa in Altoona with Google investing another $400 million in the state.

"We can continue to serve as a national leader in wind," Reynolds said. However, Reynolds added, making a segue into Gov. Branstad's STEM initiative, "Our most outstanding natural resource is of course our young people." Reynolds is co-chair of the STEM advisory committee.

"It's kind of a public/private partnership," Reynolds said of STEM, adding that the legislation has put $4.7 million into the program which impacted 40,000 students this year. If full funding is available, Reynolds said that number could grow to 107,000 next year.

Reynolds also lauded the KidWind Challenge, one of 12 STEM programs selected by the governor's STEM advisory council.

Reynolds said KidWind teaches students problem solving and engages them as they learn science and math.



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