• Windustry in Consumer Reports Article

    September 25, 2014. The journal Consumer Reports just published an article about methods for making money off of your home.  One section is devoted to wind and solar power and quotes Windustry's Lisa Daniels.  From the article: 

    You can also monetize your property by using it to generate solar or wind power. “Most people think of wind power as these farms of 50 to 100 turbines,” Lisa Daniels, executive director of the advocacy group Windustry, said. Indeed, if you’re lucky enough to have acres of high, clear, windy land that’s near high-voltage transmission lines, you could earn hundreds of thousands from a wind-power company. But today’s technology also allows for small-scale projects that could power your house and perhaps help supply the neighborhood.

    Here’s how: A wind company installs a single turbine on a metal pole, perhaps 100 feet up to clear trees and buildings. You stay connected to the grid and draw power from the utility when you need more than the turbine can supply. But when the wind is up, the mill can power all of your electrical needs—and even pump extra voltage onto the electrical grid, spinning your meter backward, so you get credit for the contribution.

    With a wind lease from a company such as United Wind, there’s no up-front cost, but you’ll wind up with two monthly electric payments—one greatly reduced bill from the utility, thanks to lower usage, and another from the wind-power company, for what you draw from the turbine, at a below-market-rate price. The bottom line, Daniels says, is about a 10 percent savings, which in a high-electrical-cost area could mean $300 per year.

  • Wind Turbine Syndrome? A Survey of Midwestern Residents

     A new survey came out today which questioned residents in the Midwest about their thoughts on renewable energy and included questions about wind turbine syndrome.  The following quote is from an article in Midwest  Energy News titled Midwesterners not buying ‘wind turbine syndrome’:

     "A bipartisan poll on energy issues released earlier this week found that in six Midwestern states – Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin – only 14 percent of respondents believe wind  turbines harm human health.

     The survey of 2,477 voters was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and FM3 on behalf of RE-AMP, which publishes Midwest Energy News.

    Among the states surveyed, the lowest percentage of people who believe wind turbines cause health problems (7 percent) was in Iowa, a state that leads the nation in proportion of energy from wind.

    Meanwhile, the highest percentage believing such claims (21 percent) was in Wisconsin, a state which has far fewer wind farms and where some political leaders have in recent years been hostile to renewable and distributed energy."

  • UN Secretary-General's Climate Summit: "Dear Matafele Peinem"

    September 23, 2014.  26 year old poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, from the Marshall Islands, addressed the Opening Ceremony of the UN Secretary-General's Climate Summit. Kathy was selected from among over 500 civil society candidates in an open, global nomination process conducted by the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service.Kathy performed a new poem entitled "Dear Matafele Peinem", written to her daughter. The poem received a standing ovation. Kathy is also a teacher, journalist and founder of the environmental NGO, Jo-jikum.

  • Join the Climate Ride finish at Northerly Island September 9th!!

    September 3, 2014. Join this year's riders to celebrate the end of Climate Ride, a 300-mile benefit bike ride to raise awareness of bike advocacy, sustainability, renewable energyand the threat of climate change, beginning in Grand Rapids, MI and ending at Northerly Island in Chicago, IL.

    For more details read the press release below.

  • Join us at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair!

    August 21, 2014. Come visit the Windustry staff and volunteers at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair! We are presenting the Wind Energy Center within the Eco Experience from August 21-September 21, 2014.

    Come and see the awe-inspring 123 foot tall wind turbine blade and climb into a replica base of a wind turbine.  You can also see many maps of wind speeds and wind projects throughout Minnesota and view videos about wind energy. We have tools and information to help you find out if your home is suitable for a wind project and to learn about policies like net metering.  We will also take your picture and make you a free pin with it!

    The Wind Energy Center booth is staffed from 9am to 9pm every day of the fair.  Come into the Eco-Experience Building and say hello!

    Read more about our state fair activities here.

  • Support Windustry at Climate Ride 2014!

    Did you know that Windustry is a beneficiary for Climate Ride?

    August 2014. This fall, Climate Ride will be biking  to promote and support organizations related to sustainability, climate, clean energy, and more. There is still time to sign up for the following rides.  The Midwest route is brand new this year!

    Midwest Climate Ride
    When: September 6-9, 2014
    Where: Grand Rapids, MI to Chicago, IL
    (register here)

    NYC-DC Climate Ride
    When: September 20-24, 2014
    Where: NYC to Washington D.C.
    (register here)

  • 2014 REAP Funding Announced

    *May 5, 2014  – The USDA announced funding for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP provides grants and loan guarantees to farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses for a wide range of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. You can see the official notice here

    This funding announcement is the first of two rounds of funding to be announced this year. The available funds total $28.2 million. Later this year, the USDA will release the final REAP rule and announce the mandatory funding from the Farm Bill of $50 million. The ultimate share of this funding between grants and loan guarantees will be determined by public demand.

    The USDA application deadlines follow:

     Applications involving grantsJuly 7, 2014
     Guaranteed loan only applicationsJuly 31, 2014
       

    The first step for potential applicants with project plans in hand is to contact the USDA Rural Development state energy coordinator. It is important to work with these staff, who can help you through the application process. It is also important to connect with your energy coordinators early in the process – and well in advance of deadlines — as they become very busy.

    Due to changes in the new Farm Bill, there will be no funding for flexible fuel blender pumps or feasibility studies. Due to the late funding notice (after April 1), there will be no funding in 2014 for Energy Audits or Renewable Energy Development Assistance. 

    Editorial Note: USDA Continues Loan Guarantee Preference

    The funding notice includes a number of regrettable and unneeded preferences for loan guarantees over grants that complicate the program, such as longer timelines and preferred treatment of applications. The USDA’s continuing preference for loan guarantees is quite odd given the well-established disinterest from the public in loan guarantees. Loan guarantees primarily help bankers and actually cost money to the project owner while not lowering financing costs. We would prefer the agency to drop this preference and focus on the program mission.

    *Adapted from the Environmental Law and Policy Center announcement.

  • Windustry Awarded USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant to develop a Small Wind Bulk-Buy program

    USDA

    Windustry was recently awarded a $275,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development office.

    Windustry gained the support of the USDA in 2009 to launch a national Landowner Wind Energy Association Resource Center to technical support to rural communities seeking to develop community owned wind energy projects. The Center has been conducting feasibility studies to develop rural wind energy projects Montana, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

    The new RBEG grant will expand our work to southern Minnesota.to work with the Region Nine Development Commission’s Renewable Energy Task Force to develop a Small Wind Bulk-Buy program across nine counties.

    Windustry is honored to have received support from the USDA for two years in a row and looks forward to working with a dynamic consortium of partners to promote Community Wind and Small Wind across America.

  • Department of Energy Seeks Input on Wind Energy Workforce Development Roadmap

    U.S. Department of Energy

    Washington DC — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Request For Information (RFI) to gain public input on the development of a Wind Energy Workforce Roadmap, which will provide details on the current workforce landscape in the wind industry as well as future steps necessary to train and develop a green workforce for the sector.

    The purpose of the Roadmap is to establish the policy objectives and overall direction that workforce development efforts throughout the wind industry should assume as it moves forward. This RFI provides leaders from academia, industry, and government with the opportunity to provide insight and guidance to DOE as the nation ramps up its wind energy production. A draft Roadmap document has been developed, and the public may provide comments on the initial draft or may provide alternative or additional viewpoints.

    This RFI does not constitute a request for specific project proposals. The information being sought under this RFI is intended to assist DOE and the wind industry in maximizing ongoing efforts to spark interest and skills development in the growing wind industry.

    The information collected may be used for internal DOE planning and decision-making to align future activities under the Wind and Water Power Program with the Administration's goals for increased use of renewable energy and domestic job creation.

    DOE will not reimburse costs associated with preparing any documents for this RFI, and there is no guarantee that a funding opportunity announcement will be issued subsequent to this RFI.

    Comments must be provided by no later than July 30, 2010. View the full text of the RFI on the FedConnect website

     

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