• Clean Energy Advocates Come Together for Special Screening of "The Last Mountain"

    Twin Cities environmentally-minded friends filled a theatre in the Lagoon Cinema in mid-July to watch a special screening of The Last Mountain, many met up for a social hour following the film. Proceeds benefited Windustry.

    Last Mountain Poster

    The Last Mountain looks at the effects of mountaintop coal removal in West Virginia’s Coal River Valley, and the grassroots fight to stop it. The film had its world premiere in the U.S. Documentary ompetition category of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and has been playing in select theaters across the country, receiving strong positive reviews.

    "The subject of this film goes far beyond West Virginia.” said Windustry Executive Director, Lisa Daniels. “It shines a light on America’s energy needs, how those needs are being supplied, and takes a stand for supporting renewable energy."

    This screening was made possible with the generous support of the owners of Build Sustainable Homes, The Twin Cities' Green Building Referral Network and Resource and others.

    Watch the Trailer

    Watch The Last Mountain Trailer
  • 2011 Conference News: Call for Community and Small Wind Abstracts for Fall Event in Albany, NY

    Windustry is currently reviewing presentation abstracts for the Community Wind Across America Northeast Regional Conference Oct. 26-28, 2011 Desmond Hotel, Albany, NY

    Download the submission form

    For more information contact Adam Mehl
    adam.mehl@windustry.org 612-870-3477


    Windustry's Community Wind Across America regional conferences cover Community Wind and Small Wind in a two-track program, with a mix of case studies and technical information, to provide the full range of what's needed to advance opportunities for locally-owned wind energy production.

    Presentations for the Northeastern Conference should be geared toward anyone interested in benefiting from wind energy production - rural landowners, farmers, ranchers, municipal utilities, elected officials, town planners, tribal representatives, economic development professionals, business leaders, investors, bankers, and community leader.

    These regional conferences have been made possible in part by a grant from the Department of Energy, to bring hundreds of stakeholders together to learn from each other and experts in the renewable energy field. Since 2010, Windustry has held conferences in the Colorado for the Rocky Mountain Region, Minnesota for the Midwest, and Pennsylvania for the Mid Atlantic, and Michigan for the Great Lakes.

  • Community Wind across America conferences to reach Great Lakes and Northeast regions in 2011


    Windustry is pleased to announce two Community Wind across America regional conferences in the coming months

    June 24- 26, 2011: The Michigan Energy Fair, Ludington, Michigan

    Windustry is excited to partner with Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association to present a full Community and Small Wind program at the 6th annual Michigan Energy Fair at the Mason County Fairgrounds. Topics include: Wind Energy Basics; Introduction to Community Wind; Case Studies of Community and Small Wind; Small Wind Assessment; Landowner Leasing and pooling; Wind Siting and Zoning in Michigan.

    Registration for the Michigan Energy Fair includes attending the Community and Small Wind program. You may Register Online in advance or at the fair gates.

    Find out more about the Community and Small Wind program
    Visit the website for the Michigan Energy Fair

    October 26-28, 2011: The Desmond Hotel, Albany, New York

    Windustry brings practical “how to” information on Community and Small Wind to the Northeast Region. National experts will provide the full range of what's needed for rural landowners, local investors, and community leaders to unlock the economic growth potential of locally-owned wind energy. Watch for more information on this event. Interested in sponsorships and exhibiting? Email events@windustry.org or call 612-870-3477

    Community Wind Across America regional conferences are made possible in part by grant from the Department of Energy, as part of the 20% Wind by 2030 Initiative, to bring hundreds of stakeholders together to learn from each other and experts in the renewable energy field.  Since 2010, Windustry has held conferences in the Colorado for the Rocky Mountain region; Minnesota for the Midwest, and Pennsylvania for the Mid Atlantic.

  • Small Wind Conference 2011 Look at What's New in the Industry

    The Small Wind Conference for installers, manufacturers, dealers and distributors returns to Holiday Inn Stevens Point Conference Center in WI, June 14 – 15, 2011

    The annual small wind conference brings together professionals with those new to the industry for honest dialogue, networking.

    Now in its seventh year, this event has proven to be the premier event for small wind-electric system installers, designers, manufacturers, educators and advocates, and for those involved in sales, specification, management, funding, and permitting of small wind systems. Nearly 400, from across the United States and nine countries, attended the 2010 conference.

    This year's keynote speaker is peak oil expert Randy Udall who writes and speaks widely on why "energy is an IQ test Americans tend to fail."

    The 2011 program looks at new wind turbines and equipment, presenting test results, updates and installer survey results that grade machines and their manufacturers.

    The question: “Why push something that we know the customer will not be happy with?” frames a presentation on the ramifications of short tower installations.

    Other sessions will focus on Small Wind business issues, certification, siting, zoning, and permitting. Case Studies will examine what works, what doesn’t, and why.

    The conference runs 8 am - 6 pm, June 14 – 15, with after-hour complimentary social events on both days.

    Other highlights include:

    • An opening social kick off among the exhibits and poster presentations on Monday, June 13
    • Monday also features two pre-conference sessions: Small Wind Zoning Summit 2011 and Fundamentals of Wind Energy and Small Wind Systems
    • A barbeque supper Tuesday evening at the “Bergey Que”, hosted at the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, in nearby Custer, WI, includes libations and music from “The Honky Tonk Twisters."
    • The Annual Awards ceremony
    • A closing reception on Wednesday at the Holiday Inn’s Amber Grill with complimentary light food and drink.

    For more information, or to register, visit: www.windustry.org, email: smallwindconference@windustry.org, or call: 612-870-3477

    small wind conference

    The two-day conference will run from 8:00 am Tuesday, June 14 through 6:00 pm Wednesday, June 15. Conference fee includes breakfast, lunch, and snacks, along with complimentary evening social events.

  • Financing Second Turbine in UMN, Morris took ingenuity

    Second Wind Turbine at University of Minnesota, Morris. Wind energy now provides an average of 70 percent of campus electricity
    Photo: Courtesy of Courtney Driessen '12, Blooming Prairie, Minn.

    A Second wind turbine began operating at the University of Minnesota, Morris, in March, 2011 - just south of the first public university large-scale wind research turbine in the nation, installed in 2005.

    The new turbine is 10 meters taller and delivers 10 percent more power than the existing turbine at West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC).

    Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson states, it “will further reduce the University of Minnesota, Morris’s carbon footprint, advance our goal of producing more energy than we consume, and fix our electrical costs for the next 20 years.”

    As staff Writer Jennifer Hill, points out in in the Novogradac Journal of Tex Credits, financing the second project went through a number of phases: Against the Wind: Smaller Projects Use Creativity to Secure Financing and Equipment

  • Windustry Attends Renewable Energy Roundtable with Senator Franken

    Senator Al Franken

    On Wednesday, February 23, 2011, Windustry Executive Director Lisa Daniels and Program Analyst Dan Turner met with U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) and other notable Minnesotans including entrepreneurs, business executives, economists, and tax experts, in a roundtable panel discussion at the University of Minnesota Morris, to discuss how best to improve the federal policy environment for local renewable energy development.

    Senator Franken, who is now on the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, planned the meeting with the seven other panelists. Topics discussed ranged from tax policy and renewable energy standards to smart grids, transmission, and barriers facing community wind development. The senator opened the meeting saying, "I'm here to listen," and he was true to his word, taking notes, asking questions of each of the other panel members, and showing that he already has a very strong grasp of the issues facing local renewable energy.

    Senator Al Franken and Windustry Staff
    Windustry Executive Director Lisa Daniels, U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn), and Windustry Program Analyst Dan Turner
  • In the News: Report on Windustry Conference in State College

    Reporter Kristine Allen, with NPR affiliate WPSU, produced an in-depth feature on the Community Wind across America Mid Atlantic conference, held in State College, PA, February 8 and 9, 2011. Allen says, "At this conference they're not talking about the huge wind farms you've seen on TV commercials, here the focus is on smaller scale projects that can be done by local communities or even by individual homeowners."

    The focus is on smaller scale projects that can be done by local communities or even by individual homeowners.The story includes interview comments with Lisa Daniels, Executive Director, Windustry; Jacques Beaudry-Losique, Director, Wind and Water Power Program, U.S. Department of Energy; Susan Stewart, Director, Penn State Wind Application Center, Pennsylvania State University; Jim Brasseur, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Mathematics; and John Franek, Zoning Officer, College Township, PA.

    Listen to "Community Wind Conference hosted by Penn State"

  • New Report Looks at New Business Models for Community Wind

    (January, 2011) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has released a 34-page report to the public: "Community Wind: Once Again Pushing the Envelope of Project Finance," by Dr. Mark Bolinger. The report describes innovative financing and organizational structures for five community wind projects constructed in 2010.

    Bolinger said the purpose of the report is two-fold: (1) to disseminate useful information on these new financial structures, most of which are widely replicable; and (2) to highlight the recent policy changes – many of them temporary unless extended – that have facilitated this innovation.

    In most cases, the projects are first-of-their-kind structures that could serve as useful templates for both community and commercial wind alike. Community Wind "has historically served as a 'test bed' or 'proving grounds' not only for up-and-coming wind turbine manufacturers trying to break into the broader U.S. wind market, but also for wind project financing structures," Bolinger stated.

    Fox Island Wind, Sugarloaves and Brown's Head Light by Ivan Storck
    Fox Islands Wind, Sugarloaves and Brown's Head Light, Vinalhaven, Maine, photo: Ivan Storck

    "In addition to its significance as an engaging story – i.e., a photogenic island wind power project that overcame significant logistical hurdles to reduce local electricity costs – the Fox Islands Wind project is also significant in the way it was financed," states the report. "Most notably, the 20-year RUS term loan is the first loan that the RUS has offered to a wind project on a project finance basis. It is also, therefore, the first time that a low-interest RUS loan has been combined with federal tax incentives and investors interested in those incentives. Combining these two historically separate instruments of finance – i.e., low-cost government debt and tax equity leveraging federal tax incentives – helped make even this relatively expensive project (at least on a $/MW installed cost basis) financeable."

    The report and a Powerpoint presentation can be downloaded at no charge

  • Community Wind across America Regional Conferences Continue in 2011

    Community Wind and Small Wind Energy conferences provide necessary tools for locally-owned projects.

    Windustry continues the Community Wind across America conferences series with an event for the Mid Atlantic Region, February 8-9, 2011. It follows 2010 events in the Rocky Mountain and Midwest regions.

    Jacques Beaudry-Losique
    Jacques Beaudry-Losique
    Wind and Water Program
    Manager, U.S. DOE

    The conferences cover Community Wind and Small Wind in a two-track program, providing the full range of what's needed to advance opportunities for locally-owned wind energy production. The Mid Atlantic program includes a keynote address from Jacques Beaudry-Losique, Wind and Water Program Manager at the U.S. Department of Energy, former CIA Director James Woolsey, a renewable energy and energy security advocate.

    The conferences are for anyone interested in. benefiting from wind energy production: Rural landowners, local investors, and community leaders, farmers, municipal utilities, elected officials, town planners, tribal representatives, economic development professionals, business leaders, educators, investors, and bankers. Attendees will:

    • Gain breadth of knowledge on distributed energy.
    • Learn about economic development from local involvement in wind power.
    • Hear about landowner options for wind energy and new business models.
    • Develop an essential network of industry experts.

    Said Lisa Daniels, Windustry Executive Director:
    "Our Community Wind across America conferences are for people interested in commercial and residential development. The key goal is to help keep the economic benefits as local as possible while, as a nation, we change our energy sources. We need a diverse set of solutions for a robust economy and diverse society and we want everyone interested to join the conversation."

    Two Days - Two Tracks
    Practical information is provided along two tracks: how to put together a Community Wind project and topics on Small Wind such as how to choose a turbine, installation, and rebates and grants.
    Community Wind Track
    sessions cover: Financing, policy, emerging business models, and incentives for community-own wind; case studies on innovative utilities and public power, project development; landowner options; how the characteristics of mid-sized turbines with a capacity rating of 100-1000kW meet the needs of Community Wind projects, and best practices on successfully introducing a wind project to a community. Small Wind Track sessions will address how to get started, present examples, give an overview of the wide variety of new machines available and talk about the importance of Small Wind Certification.

    A film screening of Wind Uprising is also planned. The documentary follows the turbulent path and final success of a Utah wind farm developer and engineer.  

    Response from conferences in Rocky Mountain and midwest regions:

    "Speaking one on one with attendees and presenters was very valuable. I was able to get personal responses to specific question."

    "The speakers were top notch; they went into the detail I was hoping to hear, and it was a perfect environment to get answers and make good connections. Well done!"

    "Overall excellent event, great overview and I made some important contacts. The Wind Uprising film was good."

    "The sessions that showed practical experience and alternative financing structures very strong."

    Support for Community Wind across America comes from U.S. Department of Energy funding and national partnering Nordic WindPower. REGISTRATION is available at www.windustry.org or by phoning Catherine O' Neill at 612-870-3477.