• Small Wind Conference 2010 draws large and engaged group

    Windustry helped organize and produce the sixth annual Small Wind Conference, held this past June in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Nearly 400 small wind systems and business colleagues attended from across the United States, as well as Mexico, Canada, Europe, Japan, and South Korea.

    A keynote address kicked off the two-day event, given by Larry Flowers, National Wind Technology Center Principal Project Leader at National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Guests then enjoyed networking opportunities and presentations covering relevant and timely topics for policy analysts, manufacturers, and installers.

    The conference wrapped up in Pfiffner Park, on the beautiful Wisconsin Riverfront, at a barbeque sponsored by Bergey Windpower.

    Small Wind Conference 2010 presentation highlights:

    • Administrators of three state public-benefits programs explained what they look for in grant applications.
    • Manufacturers gave updates on the status of their companies and products, including an in-depth look at midsized turbines (turbines above 100 kW and below 1000kW), a fast growing segment of community wind installations.
    • Presentations for installers discussed climbing safety, what installers need in order to make their businesses sustainable, and a brainstorming session to help organize a working group to craft a best practices and standards document.
    • National Standards, for both turbines and installers, was the subject of a panel discussion with representatives from the Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC), the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), and Underwriters Laboratories. Topics included certification, safety codes, turbine testing and results, wind resource measurement, and siting.
    • Poster sessions included presentations on wind energy education, wind assessment techniques, turbine manufacturers, and regional small wind test centers at Department of Energy/NREL

    Award presenters and recipients

    Awards given during the conference recognized individual contributions, while also highlighting milestones, in the small wind field:

    • Robert Preus, of XZERES Wind, was presented with the Wind Powering America Small Wind Advocate Award for his leadership and dedication in championing the US small wind turbine market, and particularly for his advocacy work to remove small wind barriers in Texas, Idaho, and Oregon.
    • Dr. Robert Wills, PE, from Windmonitoring.com, was recognized along with Preus, for updating the National Electric Code to include comprehensive requirements for small wind turbines that will increase safety and validate the small wind industry.
    • Lisa and Joe DiFrancisco, of North Coast Energy Systems in Pennsylvania, received the Small Wind Conference Installer of the Year Award for their work in advancing the interests of small wind in the eastern United States.
    • Ken Starcher, of the Alternative Energy Institute in Texas, received The Small Wind Educator Award for his role in advocating for small wind technology and educating numerous university students, international interns, and consumers on small wind industry issues.

    The annual conference is developed and coordinated by a Small Wind Conference Coordinating Committee. This year, it was supported by a record, 22 sponsors and 25 exhibitors. The seventh annual Small Wind Conference will take place on June 13 - 15 in Stevens Point at the Holiday Inn Conference Center.

    Evening by the River at the Small Wind Conference

  • Radio News Feature Reports on Upcoming Wind Conference in Albany

    A report from the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service interviews Windustry Executive Director Lisa Daniels about the upcoming community and small wind conference in Albany, NY, October 26-28.

    Listen to the report:
    NAFB Interview on Wind Conference

    "The conference will provide all of the information rural landowners need to unlock the economic growth potential of locally-owned wind energy,: says Lisa. "Attendees will see what wind energy can do and what kind of environment it does best in." 

  • Wind Energy Center at the Minnesota State Fair a Success

    Minneapolis, September 6, 2012—The 2012 Minnesota State Fair was a tremendous success, attracting nearly 1.8 million visitors from all over the country. An estimated 260,000 fairgoers toured the Eco Experience exhibition, many of whom stopped into the Wind Energy Center.  Our guests came with many questions about wind energy and our team of knowledgeable volunteers was ready with answers.

    Spreading the word about the economic benefits of wind energy is what Windustry does, and this year our team organized more than 1,400 Minnesota adults and children who offered their support for wind energy in Minnesota.  We asked children to color and adults to sign our custom made postcards which will be delivered to Minnesota decision makers to let them know Minnesotans want to see our state remain a leader in wind energy production, the creation of green jobs, and a sustainable economy.

    In the seven years Windustry has overseen the Wind Energy Center, never have so many Minnesotans offered their support for wind energy.  The success of the 2012 Wind Energy Center could not have happened without the hard work and generosity of our many volunteers and partners.  With this continued support, Windustry hopes to make next year’s exhibit an even greater success. 

     

    Sustaining Partners

     

     

    Allied Partners

     

     

      
       
       
     

     

    Partners

     

  • German leaders visit Windustry during three-week professional exchange program

    MINNEAPOLIS, JUNE 29, 2012 – Three Germans touring Minnesota as part of a three-week professional exchange program came to Windustry on Friday, June 29, 2012, in order to discuss Windustry’s efforts to involve individuals and communities in expanding Minnesota’s wind energy production.

    Ms. Ulrike Gauderer, project manager at NaturPur Institute, HSE AG, in Darmstadt; Mr. David Simon, head of the Office of Cem Özdemir, co-chairman of Alliance 90/The Greens; and Mr. Matthias Thorns, senior regional adviser on Europe, International Organisation of Employers (IOE) in Geneva, are guests of the U.S. Department of State and are part of a national project called, “Greening of America with an Emphasis on Renewable Energies.” The group’s goals are to talk with political leaders, think-tank experts, academics, and industry representatives about the U.S. decision-making process for green energy policy formulation; to explore the research and development of clean energy technologies; to learn about strategies for supporting a green economy; and to analyze movements towards building green communities, with an emphasis on sustainability, public outreach, and education.


  • Windustry among honorees at 11th Annual All-States Summit

    ATLANTA, JUNE 7, 2012- Windustry was honored at the 11th Annual All-States Summit at the Georgia Tech Research Institute Conference Center in Atlanta on June 7, 2012, receiving Wind Powering America's Midwestern Regional Wind Leadership Award.

    Created in 2004, the award was given to Windustry in honor of the Minneapolis-based organization’s support of community wind development and the Community Wind across America conference series.

    We are surprised and honored to receive this recognition,” said Windustry executive director Lisa Daniels, who accepted the award on behalf of the Windustry staff and board. “The Windustry team worked intensely on the Community Wind Across America series to help grow the market and increase visibility and awareness of community and small wind in many regions of the US.”

    For the second year, network stakeholders participated in an online survey to nominate individuals for awards. Team members at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Energy Department reviewed the nominations and presented the following awards: Midwestern Regional Leadership Award, Windustry; Outstanding Wind Working Group, Georgia Wind Working Group; Outstanding Leadership in Education, Gwen Andersen of St. Francis University; Outstanding Wind Powering America Partner, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy; Larry Flowers Outstanding Leadership Award, Mackinaw Power and the Gratiot Community Wind Project; Outstanding Young Advocate Award, Karin Wadsack of Northern Arizona University; Small Wind Leadership Award, Brett Pingree; Western Regional Leadership Award, Western Interstate Energy Board; Eastern Regional Leadership Award, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center; Lifetime Achievement Award, Dwight Bailey of the U.S. Department of Energy and National Energy Technology Laboratory.

    Wind Powering America is a nation-wide initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy’s wind program that is committed to increasing wind energy use and development in the United States. For more information, go to http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/.

     

  • Community Wind Innovator Award given in honor of the late Paul Woodin

    ATLANTA, June 5, 2012 – The Windustry Board of Directors, along with a Peer Group of Community Wind Colleagues, is pleased to present the Community Wind Innovator Award in honor of the late Paul Woodin. The award was presented at the Community Wind Working Group meeting at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Windpower 2012 conference in Atlanta on June 5. Renewable Northwest Project deputy director John Audley accepted the award on Woodin’s behalf.

    This award is presented to an individual who has made significant progress over the past one to two years in forging new policies, approaches, business models, or research that furthers community and distributed wind energy.  “I remember that Paul always had a Community Wind policy ‘wish list’ on the ready,” said Windustry Executive Director Lisa Daniels.

    Woodin was chosen because of his originality, idealism, and fairness. He sought common ground on community renewable issues and an understanding of core challenges to advancing community wind. Woodin was executive director of Community Renewable Energy Association (CREA) of The Dalles, Ore., an intergovernmental organization with public and private sector members. CREA promotes policies at both the state and federal level that favor community renewable energy projects. These projects are defined as 20 megawatts and smaller and include locally owned geothermal, small hydro, biomass, small wind, wave energy, and other small renewable technologies. As strong supporters of community renewables, four of CREA’s seven board members are county judges and commissioners.

    CREA secretary John Arens said the award was recently given to Woodin’s wife, Katie. “She was very appreciative of the recognition given to Paul and thought it was a very nice gesture of consideration that you gave to him,” Arens said.   A trained aeronautical engineer, Woodin worked for Lockheed Martin in Burbank, Calif., in the early 1970s before moving to the northwest in 1975 to work at the Martin Marietta Aluminum Plant in Goldendale. After a transfer to the Martin Marietta Aluminum Plant in Torrance, Calif., in 1979, Woodin returned to Goldendale in 1992. It was during a time of transition at the aluminum plant that the owner decided it would be worthwhile to build a wind farm, Arens said. Woodin was sent to Europe to look at wind power technology.“That’s where his expertise first developed in renewables,” Arens said. “Once that project was done, Paul started his own company, Western Wind Power, and was a consultant.” It was through that relationship that CREA began, promoting a variety of renewables in the state of Oregon. As of June 14, CREA did not have a new executive director. The board is currently taking the leadership role.

    This is the second year the Community Wind Innovator Award has been given. Recipients are recognized for creative vision about implementing community and distributed wind; be immensely generous in sharing his or her time for the promotion of community and distributed wind; and have changed how we think about or perform our work.

    The Windustry Board of Directors thanks the 2012 Community Wind Peer Group for the colleague nominations and selections for the awards. The 2012 Community Wind Peer Group participants were Tom Wind, Wind Utility Associates; Kevin Schulte, Sustainable Energy Developments; Jacob Susman, OwnEnergy; Larry Flowers, American Wind Energy Association; and Lisa Daniels, Windustry.

     

  • Dan Juhl Receives Distinguished Service in Community Wind Award for 2012

    ATLANTA, June 5, 2012 – The Windustry Board of Directors, along with this year’s community wind peer group, is pleased to announce Dan Juhl, chairman and CEO of Juhl Wind, Inc., as the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Service in Community Wind Award. The award was presented at the Community Wind Work Group meeting at the American Wind Energy Association Windpower 2012 conference in Atlanta on June 5.

    The award is given to a person who has made a contribution to the establishment and growth of community wind as a uniquely valuable form of clean, renewable energy.

    “Developing a wind project is not easy on any level,” said Windustry Executive Director Lisa Daniels. “Blazing the trail for the community wind market adds that much more complexity. Dan has had an unwavering commitment to community wind in the face of huge challenges. Thank goodness Dan has never understood the word ‘no.’”

    Juhl was chosen because of his 30-plus years of pioneering work, creative vision, and bold leadership. According to the Juhl Wind, Inc., website, Juhl has developed 1,500 megawatts of wind generation and has advocated community-based wind development before numerous state and federal government bodies. He is co-author of, “Harvesting Wind Energy as a Cash Crop,” (2002) and has a long history of working with different size turbines and adapting business models, such as the Minnesota flip. He has worked with many rural citizens to put wind projects in the ground.  “I appreciate the acknowledgement of my work over the years,” Juhl said.

    Larry Flowers, AWEA Deputy Director of Distributed and Community Wind, said Juhl is a community wind pioneer in every sense of the word.  “He figured out how to put the financing, local ownership, and incentives pieces together to make projects work in an ever-changing policy environment,” Flowers said. “From the MN-flip to CBED to REAP, he led the way in Minnesota, and his experiences became the models we all used to implement community wind around the country.”

    This is the second year the Distinguished Service in Community Wind Award has been presented. Recipients of the award must 1.) possess outstanding dedication, excellence, or achievement; 2.) have worked many years to further the goals of community wind and distributed renewable energy; 3.) be an exemplary professional and a mentor for others; 4.) be regarded as a creative leader in his/her professional field; and 5.) embody methods of practice and aspects of being that we aspire to ourselves.

    The Windustry Board of Directors thanks the 2012 community wind peer group for the colleague nominations and selections for the awards. The 2012 Community Wind Peer Group participants were Flowers, AWEA; Daniels, Windustry; Tom Wind, Wind Utility Associates; Kevin Schulte, Sustainable Energy Developments; and Jacob Susman, OwnEnergy.

  • Offshore Wind Potential in the United States

    Floating Wind Turbine ConceptsIn June, a large-scale floating turbine was installed off the coast of Norway by companies StatoilHydro and Siemens. The floating turbine, dubbed the Hywind, is located in water that is about 700 feet deep. This is significantly deeper than previously installed offshore turbines whose fixed-bottom structures required a water depth of only about 100 feet.

    The United States has yet to install any offshore wind turbines, partially because appropriate turbine designs, like the floating turbines, are still being researched, said Jason Jonkman, a senior engineer with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

    "Offshore wind energy must progress in stages in the U.S.," he said. "Before deepwater floating wind energy can become a reality, we must ‘get our feet wet' so to say by first installing fixed-bottom offshore wind turbines in shallow water, less than 30m. Once we have experience with that technology, we can move to deeper water."

    Another roadblock in U.S. offshore projects is inconsistent permitting practices. Since offshore ownership varies greatly from the east and west coasts, the Great Lakes, and the southern gulfs, leasing conditions have not been streamlined, said Katie Roek, an attorney with Stoel Rivers LLP who has extensive experience wind energy projects.

    She explained that the east coast's Outer Continental Shelf is under jurisdiction of the Minerals Management Service, which has just recently finalized leasing licenses. The Great Lakes, however, do not have an agency like the MMS overseeing broad leasing regulations. It is instead each state's responsibility to develop their own leasing practices to use with the Lakes' main permitting agent, the Army Corps of Engineers. Until the states can establish their own leasing practices, the only offshore projects that can possibly go online in the U.S. are located on the Outer Continental Shelf.

    "The Great Lakes are basically five to seven years behind the Outer Continental Shelf," Roek said. The controversial Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound, for example, has now been approved by the MMS, while all projects proposed for the Great Lakes have stalled.

    But that doesn't mean Great Lakes offshore projects won't happen. Michigan, for instance, already has a joint process for putting structures like barges in the Great Lakes, so they could adapt that permitting process for wind turbines, Roek said, rather than creating a new process from scratch.

    Ohio is probably furthest along with tapping the Great Lakes' wind resources, since their offshore potential in Lake Erie could generate more than 100 percent of their electricity needs, Roek said. One of the biggest steps Ohio and other states must take is establishing incentives for utility companies, since the average cost of installing an offshore turbine is double that of onshore. This, along with conducting preliminary zoning work to determine the best locations for offshore turbines, will help the Great Lake states make offshore projects more feasible.

    Examples of proposed U.S. offshore projects:
     

    CAPE WIND - Nantucket Sound: Massachusetts 

    Project: Proposes 130 turbines on Horseshoe Shoal about 5 miles south off the coast of Cape Cod.
    Current status: Waiting on permitting - The final Environmental Impact Statement by the Minerals Management Service was released in January and found no serious environmental hazard, but the MMS still needs to issue its formal record of decision before Cape Wind can move forward.
    What's next: Federal Aviation Administration must still give clearance, and mandatory consultations with Wampagnoag tribes and historic agencies must be conducted.

    OFFSHORE WIND PARK (Developed by Bluewater Wind) -  Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Delaware

    Project: Hopes to install 150 turbines approximately 14 miles from shore.
    Current status:
    In June, the Secretary of the Interior issued an exploratory lease to build a meteorological tower that will collect information on wind speed, direction and intensity to determine feasability.
    What's next: Developers hope to build a meteorological tower during the winter and begin ocean operation in spring 2010.

    RADIAL WIND - Lake Michigan: Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana

    Project: Calls for 390 turbines about 18 miles east of Milwaukee in the area known as the Mid-Lake Plateau, which is shallower than the rest of the lake (about 130 to 260 feet, opposed to 600-plus feet elsewhere).
    Current status: On hold because of lack of technology for mounting turbines in 200 feet of water.
    What's next: Developers hope to secure permitting in spring 2011, with a ground breaking the following year.

    View full size diagram
    Illustration: U.S. Department of Energy and National Renewable Energy Laboratory
     
  • Congrats to the 2013 Community Wind Awards recipients!

    Congratulations to Heather Rhoads-Weaver, recipient of the Service in Community Wind Award, and to John Pimentel, recipient of the Community Wind Innovator Award!

    Distinguished Service in Community Wind Award for 2013

    The Windustry Board of Directors along with the Community Wind Peer Group is pleased to announce the 2013 Distinguished Service in Community Wind Award. This award is given annually to a person who has made an exceptionally significant contribution to the establishment and growth of Community Wind as a uniquely valuable form of clean, renewable energy. The recipient of this award possesses outstanding dedication, excellence or achievement and has worked over many years to further the goals of community wind and distributed renewable energy. This person is an exemplary professional and a mentor for others. She is regarded as a creative leader in her professional field and embodies methods of practice and aspects of being that we aspire to ourselves.

    The 2013 Distinguished Service in Community Wind award goes to:

    Heather Rhoads-Weaver
    Principal Consultant and Founder of e-Formative Options

    Over the more than 17 years Heather has been involved in the wind industry, she has played key roles in a diverse array of distributed, community, and small wind projects. Working on a national basis with organizations such as the National Wind Coordinating Committee, American Wind Energy Association, and the Distributed Wind Energy Association. She started a non-profit NorthWest SEED and now runs her own consulting business. She has been honored by Women of Wind Energy for her mentoring of others. She has been prolific in her publications with the latest effort the annual Small Wind Market Report. Windustry and the 2013 Community Wind Peer Committee applaud Heather’s exceptional efforts, dedication and innovative approaches to help establish and grow the distributed wind and renewable energy market.

     

    Community Wind Innovator Award for 2013 

    The Windustry Board of Directors along with a Peer Group of Community Wind Colleagues is pleased to present for the second year the Community Wind Innovator Award. This award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant progress over the past one to two years in forging ahead with new policies, new approaches, new business models or new research to further community and distributed wind energy. This person's ideas and efforts have changed how we think about or perform our work. The recipient of this award has creative vision about implementing community and distributed wind; is immensely generous in sharing his/her time for the promotion of community and distributed wind; is a person of great heart. 

    The winner of the Community Wind Innovator Award for 2013 is:

    John Pimentel
    President and Co-Founder of Foundation WindPower LLC

    John is President and co-founder of Foundation Windpower LLC, which builds, owns, and operates wind projects in distributed “behind-the-meter” generation formats. The company has 16 distributed wind turbines totaling 22 megawatts of generating capacity with more projects under development. 

    California has historically been a leader in renewable energy and wind energy in particular. But throughout its long history California had very little or no community wind installed. Then John and the Foundation WindPower team emerged on the scene. They have put together a “behind-the-meter” business model that works in spite of the way the state policy is written and implemented. They have 11 projects and have installed 16 commercial scale turbines. Windustry and the Community Wind Peer Committee applaud John and his team for their determination, creativity and financial acuity for developing a new approach for building community wind.

     

    The Windustry Board of Directors thanks the 2013 Community Wind Peer Group for their nominations and selections for the awards.  The 2013 Community Wind Peer Group participants were Peggy Beltrone, Exergy Energy; Lisa Daniels, Windustry; Jim Duffy, Nixon Peabody, LLP; Larry Flowers, AWEA; Dan Juhl, JuhlWind; Jacob Susman, OwnEnergy; and Tom Wind, Wind Utility Associates.

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