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Culver to speak to statewide wind organization

By Staff | Mar 14, 2008

Iowa Lakes Community College Thursday received a free hub and two wind turbine blades for the Wind Energy and Turbine Technology program from Vestas, a manufacturer of wind turbines. It took about two hours to unload the fully operational blades. Photo submitted

Iowa Governor Chet Culver will help launch a new statewide organization promoting wind energy when he appears in Estherville later this month.

The Iowa Wind Energy Association will hold its first-ever meeting and conference on Thursday, March 27, with Gov. Culver as the keynote speaker. The governor has been an advocate of green energy, including wind, by developing the Office of Energy Independence for Iowa.

The statewide wind organization got its start in the fall of 2007 at the dedication of the new wind energy building on the Estherville campus of Iowa Lakes Community College when industry leaders voted to collaborate by promoting wind energy through the Iowa Wind Energy Association.

Since that time, the association has been operating using a volunteer interim board which was selected to get the association up and running. Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws were updated and Iowa Lakes became the fiscal agent for IWEA.

The interim board has organized the first-ever annual meeting and conference at the Estherville campus of Iowa Lakes. In addition to Gov. Culver speaking, the group will elect the initial board and approve the revised bylaws. In the afternoon, conference-goers will participate in a series of sessions designed to emphasize the value of wind for everyone.

Organizers hope to attract agricultural landowners, utility companies, developers, large and small wind farm producers, construction companies, turbine manufacturers, energy companies, educators, and students.

IWEA has also established a Web site: www.IowaWindEnergy.org. Individuals interested in attending the annual meeting may go to the Web site and review an agenda as well as download a registration form. The annual meeting starts at 10:30 a.m. and is free and open to the public. Individuals who wish to vote need to have a membership in IWEA. Membership forms are available on the Web site. Membership costs range from $25 for non-voting individuals to $500 for Corporate/Utility memberships.

The remainder of the day is part of the conference registration of $25 in advance or $35 at the door. Registration forms are available on the Web site or interested individuals may call or e-mail Angie De Jong at (712) 362-7931 or adejong@iowalakes.edu.

Those registered for the conference may participate in the lunch planned at noon in the gymnasium of Iowa Lakes Community College, 300 S. 18th St., Estherville.

The afternoon will be packed with wind energy information. Dr. Jim McCalley of Iowa State University will lead an open forum entitled “Wind Energy in Iowa – How High Can it Go?” Panelists include: Tom Wind, Developer; Michelle Arenson, Manager of Wind Development for Alliant Energy; Dale Osborn, Transmission Technical Director of Midwest ISO; and, Dean Crist, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Mid-American. In addition, the session will include the landowner perspective and the turbine manufacturing perspective.

The second half of the afternoon will be a Round Table session. John Dunlop Sr., the Outreach Technical Engineer from the American Wind Energy Association, will present that organization’s 2008 report on Wind Power OUTLOOK.

And the Round Table session will be used to gather other information that reflects the needs of the Iowa Wind Energy Association.

The day will wrap up with remarks from the new president of IWEA who will have been elected during the morning meeting.

For more information on the First-Ever Annual Meeting and Conference of the Iowa Wind Energy Association, call Angie De Jong at (712) 362-7931 or visit the association’s Web site at www.IowaWindEnergy.org.