Windustry's Spring 2015 Newsletter
Bicycles, awards, opportunities, and turbine climbers!
Guest Writer: Where the Wind Blows
Tony Davis, a student in the Wind Energy and Turbine Technology program at Iowa Lakes Community College has written an essay for Windustry about his growing career as a wind turbine technician:
Regardless of the paths we have chosen for ourselves, there are always opportunities to make a positive impact on our world. Whether you started in sales, as an entrepreneur, maintenance technician, or any other professional, there is time to apply those skills towards making a positive impact in your community. Renewable energies are becoming more and more vital for our society to function efficiently and sustainably. With individual commitment and community support, renewable energy use will continue to grow at an exponential rate.
As an Economics graduate from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, I never thought that I would become so passionate about the wind industry. However, Sustainability classes at Iowa introduced me to the environmental, economic, and social issues our planet must balance for society to thrive. It sparked my interest in the field, and ultimately led me to where I am today.
In an attempt to combine my business experience to the wind industry, I decided to join the Wind Energy and Turbine Technology program at Iowa Lakes Community College located in Estherville, Iowa. Best decision of my life thus far. Tucked between miles and miles of farmland in Northwest Iowa, Estherville’s windy days and star filled nights have become my home away from home.
There are a number of details I have learned in a short time in windy Estherville. To start, safety is the number one priority for anyone plying their trade in wind - working with electricity, especially “at height,” requires adherence to strict safety standards. One experiences a sense of exhilaration when looking at the world from 300 feet above ground. For someone like me who used to be afraid of heights, those safety procedures only help to enhance that excitement. Also, Field Training labs provide hands-on experience in climbing, repelling, rescue, and work within a turbine. There is never a dull day in class.
Turbines come in all different sizes and models and can be designed to fit in your unique community. Wind is abundant, and we should harness it and turn it into electricity. It is truly amazing how you can turn something seemingly irrelevant into something that powers your devices, homes and businesses.
You don't need to know exactly what you want to do in order to make a difference. Take me for example: I thought business and sales were my calling. I enjoy talking with people and helping them solve their problems. Wind requires similar problem solving skills. However, technical training is required in order to make a lasting impact on the industry as a whole. I am attending Iowa Lakes in order to do just that, and I could not be happier. Find ways to connect your current experience with a career you are passionate about. Carve your own unique path. With that in mind, you can make a lasting impact in your community and the world in which you live.
To see more pictures of Tony working on a turbine, check out our website here.
Old MacDonald had a farm…
…and on that farm, there was a wind turbine.
Apply to REAP now!
One of the best programs out there that can help farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses put a wind turbine on their property is USDA's REAP- the Rural Energy for America Program. The deadlines for applying are coming up soon! Submit by April 30, 2015 for a small project (less than $20k) or by June 30, 2015 for anything else. Check out our links & info about REAP here.
Windustry Community Wind Awards 2015
The Windustry Board of Directors along with a Peer Group of Community Wind Colleagues is pleased to present the 2015 Community Wind Awards:
Community Wind Distinguished Service Award: US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
Community Wind Innovator Award: Randy Caviness, an Iowa farmer and community wind farmer who has built 14.4 MW of commercial scale wind energy in 8 separate projects. Working with over 180 investors in the local community, Randy has developed a trusted methodology for providing clean, local power to municipal and rural electric utilities in southwestern Iowa.
Are you an educator who teaches about environment or energy?
Apply for a scholarship to attend KidWind’s Recharge Academies this summer! This training is a unique opportunity for educators to develop a robust understanding of wind and solar energy science, while also learning how to integrate engaging curricular and educational materials to teach about renewable energy in the classroom. Find out more here.
Are you a cyclist who supports wind energy?
Consider signing up for one this year's Climate Rides. It's a chance to "Take a Journey with Purpose." This is a sponsored ride or hike through some of the nation's most beautiful roads and trails and you will be raising money for good work for the planet.
Windustry is forming a team of riders for the Midwest or Northeast trips. You can sign up to support Windustry directly on the Climate Ride website or call Lisa Daniels at 612-200-0331 ex 701 if you interested in joining the Windustry team of riders. Or, email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
And Happy Spring Everyone!!!