• Registration is now open for Community Wind Across America - Northeast Region

    Community Wind Across America - Northeast Region

    Windustry is bringing its regional conference series on community and small wind to Albany, NY, where regional and national speakers will discuss the most current issues and best practices in distributed wind energy development.

    Northeastern rural landowners, local investors, and community leaders can choose sessions from a two-track program, to get the full range of what's needed to unlock the economic growth potential of locally-owned wind energy.

    Northeast Region Conference

    Register Now

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

     

     

    "In this conference we show how local communities can benefit from distributed wind development while, as a nation, we diversify our home grown energy sources."
    —Lisa Daniels, Windustry Executive Director

    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, and Michigan for the Great Lakes Area

    Who attends Windustry's Community and Small Wind Energy Conferences

    Anyone interested in wind energy: rural landowners, farmers, ranchers, municipal utilities, rural electric cooperatives, elected officials, town planners, tribal representatives, economic development professionals, business leaders, investors, bankers, and community leaders. Each conference covers the full range of what's needed to advance opportunities for locally-owned wind energy production

  • 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

    SUBMISSION DEADLINE: AUGUST 3, 2011
    Download the submission form

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

    CONFERENCE REGISTRATION TO OPEN JULY 25, 2011

    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.

  • Windustry Rolls Out New Curriculum for Installers

    Seventeen Minnesota community and technical college instructors recently took part in Train-the-Trainer sessions on a new curriculum for Small Wind Energy Systems and are now prepared to offer courses on the subject.

    The six-credit course material was produced by Windustry and written by experts, with support from the MN Office of Energy Security. It is the first of its kind in the country, designed to prepare installers for the written portion of the exam by North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

    Such training provides much needed workforce development for an expanding small wind industry. This course focused on energy systems with nameplate capacity of up to 100kW and are optimum for residential scale use.

    Certification in this field will quickly become the expectation and good training is needed. NABCEP Certified installers must be able to specify, configure, install, inspect, and maintain a small wind energy system

    —Alissa Harrington, Windustry Community and Small Wind Analyst

    The curriculum covers the entire installation process, from marketing to follow-up maintenance, and includes assistance in establishing an apprenticeship within Minnesota dealer networks. This is a key component, as Windustry staffer Alissa Harrington said the NABCEP test requires candidates be involved in four installations in a “responsibility” position.

    Curriculum authors Mick Sagrillo and Roy Butler are seasoned installers and instructors. They presented the material over two-weeks at the University of MN, Morris. They have also made it available for use by the instructors who teach in Albert Lea, Cloquet, Brainerd, Bemidji, and other areas across the State.

  • Small Wind Turbine Program Aimed at Furthering Small Wind Development in MN

    In 2011, with a grant from the USDA, Windustry and the Region Nine Renewable Energy Task Force launched a Small Wind Bulk Buy Program to help rural enterprises take advantage of the state's wind resources and net-metering laws.

    The program was supported by a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant, and other funders to support small wind energy, and the consequent economic development in the region. It provided Small Wind 101 training sessions, as well as technical and logistical support, including wind resource evaluation, site selection, economic evaluation, turbine selection, and support with permitting. The program focused on machines ranging in size from 2.4 kW to just under 40kW.

    As of May, 2012, the funds from the USDA ran out and the application for renewal was declined. However, the Region Nine Renewable Energy Task Force still supports the program in a limited fashion; and the resources that were developed, in particular the Small Wind Guide and the Small Wind Financial Calculator, continue to be available below.

     

     

    This is a wonderful opportunity for those who have considered wind power to find out if it really makes sense for them. People will get an honest evaluation, and for those who want to move forward, the path will be made as smooth as possible.

    —Rich Huelskamp, Renewable Energy consultant, The Sun's Warmth

    Windustry Program Analyst Dan Turner: "Region Nine has learned a great deal about making this program work efficiently. Those in the region who can take advantage of it will be well served.

    It makes small wind turbines more attractive as investments both to offset electric bills and, in some cases, to generate revenue. Industry growth in the area engages a local workforce trained to install and maintain small wind turbines, stimulates supply chain business development, and keeps energy dollars local to maintain and build the rural economy."

     

    Download Small Wind Guide

    Download the Small Wind Guide for a basic overview about small wind electric systems to help you decide if wind energy is right for you.

    Download the Small Wind Financial Calculator for Minnesota Net Metering Situations, requires Microsoft Excel or compatible software.

     

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

    cwaalogo

    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
  • 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

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