Community Wind Energy 2004

June 23-24, 2004
Minneapolis Convention Center
Minneapolis, MN

Windy landowners and communities are becoming savvy about the value of their wind resource, the local economic benefits of wind development, and their many options for participating in innovative wind projects. Community investment in wind energy can maximize local economic benefits while building support for all kinds of wind development. As a result, community wind is gathering momentum with locally and publicly owned projects springing up across the country. In order to capture and build on this momentum, Windustry presented the first national community wind energy conference June 23-24, 2004 in Minneapolis.

Click here to go directly to a directory of the conference proceedings.

Click here to download a copy of the conference program.

Our Sponsors:

Partnering Sponsors

  • The Energy Foundation
  • The McKnight Foundation

Platinum Sponsor

  • Great River Energy

Gold Sponsors

  • American Farm Bureau
  • Minnesota Dept. of Commerce, State Energy Office
  • PPM Energy
  • Vestas

Silver Sponsors

  • GE Wind Energy
  • G McNeilus, LLC Wind Energy Company
  • Xcel Energy

Bronze Sponsors

  • Alliant Energy
  • American Corn Growers Association and American Corn Growers Foundation
  • D.H. Blattner and Sons
  • HDR Engineering, Inc.
  • The Minnesota Project
  • Missouri River Energy Services
  • North Dakota SEED
  • Otter Tail Power Company
  • SeaWest Wind Power
  • US Dept of Energy, Wind Powering America
  • Wind on the Wires
  • Wisconsin Focus on Energy

Conference Proceedings

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The first day will be a broad look at community wind's benefits, challenges, and opportunities, featuring expert panels and roundtable discussions.

Registration: 7:30 am-8:30 am

Opening Plenary Session: 8:30-10:00 am

Introduction: Lisa Daniels, Windustry Executive Director

Moderator: Mark Ritchie, Windustry Board Chair and President of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Welcome: Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak (invited)

Moderator: Rip Rapson, President, the McKnight Foundation

  • National Programs: Wind Powering America, Peter Dreyfuss, Director of US Department of Energy Chicago Regional Office.
  • National Programs: USDA, William Hagy, Deputy Administrator for Business programs, US Department of Agriculture
  • Keynote Speaker: Douglas DeVries, Senior Vice President, Agricultural Marketing, John Deere
  • Keynote Speaker: Wind Energy on Working Farm and Ranch Lands: Economic Opportunity for Rural America, David Frederickson, President, National Farmers Union

Morning Break: 10:00-10:30 am

Plenary Session: 10:30 am-12:00 pm:

Public Policy that Works from Community Wind
Panel on federal and state incentives and their importance for community wind development. What are the most effective incentives and how do they work?

Moderator: Tracee Bentley, Director of National Affairs, Colorado Farm Bureau

  • State of the Wind Industry, John Dunlop, Great Plains Representative, American Wind Energy Association
  • A Survey of State Support for Community Wind Power Development, Mark Bolinger, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Rural Economic Benefits of Wind Power, Steve Clemmer, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Why Community Wind? Tom Wind, Wind Utility Consulting

Lunch with keynote speaker: 12:00-1:00 pm

Putting the Community into Community Wind Systems
David Morris, Vice President, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Breakout Sessions: 1:00-2:45 pm

Financing Wind Projects: Structures and Strategies

Moderator: Robert Young, Chief Economist, American Farm Bureau Federation

  • Financing and Tax Structuring to Maximize Use of Tax Credits, James Duffy, Nixon Peabody LLP
  • Transitioning Big Wind Project Financing Models for Community Wind, Mark Safty, Holland and Hart
  • Strategies for Working with Financial Institutions, Ken Reiners, Senior Director, AgStar Financial Services
  • State Clean Energy Funds, Bill Grant, Izaak Walton League of America, Midwest Office
  • Wind Resource Date: a Critical Component of the Financing Picture, Rory Artig, Wind Management, LLC

Partnering: The Wind Industry and Large Scale Community Wind- Panel session exploring how the wind industry and community wind work together and models for community wind projects to take advantage of economies of scale.

Moderator: Tim Seck, Great River Energy

  • How Community Wind and Big Wind Work Together, Michael Noble, Executive Director, Minnesotans for an Energy-Efficient Economy
  • Piggybacking on Larger Projects: Case Study, Lamar, Colorado, Darin Huseby, SeaWest WindPower
  • Large Scale Community Organized Project: Progress Report from 100 MW Project, Trimont, Minnesota, Earl Cummings, Turning Point Management and Raimund Grube, PPM Energy
  • Utility Perspective on Locally Owned and Aggregated Projects, Scott Wilenski, Xcel Energy.

Immediately followed by:
Common Ground- a roundtable discussion on how community wind development and the traditional wind industry are working together. Featuring the panel above.

Innovations in Community Wind Models

Moderator: Carel DeWinkel, Oregon Office of Energy

  • Successful Community Wind Models, Mark Bolinger, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • The Economic Development Benefits of Wind Power: A Guidebook for Communities for Estimating the Benefits of Wind Projects, Stephen Grover, PhD, ECONorthwest
  • Wisconsin Community Wind Business Plan, Mary Myers, Cooperative Development Services
  • Wind Power Opportunities for Low Income Communities, Michael Karp, A World Institute for a Sustainable Humanity

Immediately followed by:
Leading a Community to Wind- A roundtable discussion on how members of a community can build support and momentum for wind. Featuring the panel above.

Afternoon Break: 2:45-3:15 pm

Breakout Sessions: 3:15-5:00 pm

Panel- Financing Wind Projects: Structures and Strategies (repeated)

Moderator: Robert Young, Chief Economist, American Farm Bureau Federation

  • Financing and Tax Structuring to Maximize Use of Tax Credits, James Duffy, Nixon Peabody LLP
  • Transitioning Big Wind Project Financing Models for Community Wind, Mark Safty, Holland and Hart
  • Strategies for Working with Financial Institutions, Ken Reiners, Senior Director, AgStar Financial Services
  • State Clean Energy Funds, Bill Grant, Izaak Walton League of America, Midwest Office
  • Wind Resource Data: a Critical Component of the Financing Picture, Rory Artig, Wind Management, LLC

Transmission for Wind: Building Support through Community Wind- Panel session on building local support for wind energy infrastructure through community wind, featuring a case study from southwest Minnesota.

Moderator: Michelle Montague, Vestas

  • Getting Transmission for Wind: A National Perspective, Charlie Smith, Utility Wind Interest Group
  • Integrating Wind onto the the Electric Grid: Building on Experiences from Europe, Jim Caldwell, PPM Energy
  • Lessons Learned from the Southwest Minnesota 345 kV Case, Beth Soholt, Director, Wind on the Wires
  • Ensuring Community Benefits from New Transmission and Progress Report from Southwest Minnesota Aggregation Project, David Benson, Nobles County Commissioner and Rural Minnesota County Task Force

Successful Community Wind Models
Community wind project case studies.

Moderator: Dr. Cornelia Flora, Professor of Sociology and Director of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development, Iowa State University

  • An Urban Wind Cooperative, David Timm, Toronto Renewable Energy Cooperative
  • Wind Power for Native Americans: Case Study, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, South Dakota, Robert Gough, Secretary, Intertribal Council on Utility Policy
  • Community Ownership: Case Study, Hull, Massachusetts, Malcolm Brown, Hull Municipal Light Plant Board of Commissioners
  • Wind for Schools: Case Study, Spirit Lake, Iowa, Jim Tirevold, Director of Buildings and Grounds, Spirit Lake Community Schools

Immediately followed by:
What Really Helps Community Wind- Roundtable discussion on what are the most effective policies for community wind and how to build support for them.

Building a Midwest Clean Energy Network
Hear about two successful farm/rural renewable energy networks and discuss other ways to share information and influence public policy.

Moderator: Lola Schoenrich, The Minnesota Project

  • Harvesting Clean Energy Network (Pacific Northwest), Rhys Roth, Climate Solutions
  • Windustry's Wind Farmers Network, Lisa Daniels, Executive Director, Windustry

Networking Reception: 5:00-7:30 pm

Reception Activities:

Wind Technology Forum
Representatives from major turbine manufacturers will discuss large turbine technology. An opportunity to ask questions and discuss technology options for community wind projects. Featuring GE Wind Energy, Suzlon and Vestas.

Moderator: Larry Flowers, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Thursday sessions will focus on "how to" advice for developing community wind projects through a series of workshops and discussion groups. Hear from experts on how they put their projects together. Panel sessions will be followed by less structured, but related roundtable discussions where participants will have a chance to ask questions and talk with experts on various community wind development models. Exhibits will be open through the afternoon break.

Registration: 7:00 am-8:00 am

Session 1: 8:00-9:30 am

Wind Development Process-
An overview of the wind development process, site selection, permits, and environmental studies, and best practices for wind development.

Introduction: Lisa Daniels, Windustry Executive Director

Moderator: Janet Streff, State Energy Office Director, Minnesota Department of Commerce

  • Windy Landowner and Community Options, Lisa Daniels, Windustry
    Wind Project Development Process, Wes Slaymaker, Windustry Project Engineer
  • Best Practices for Siting Wind Projects, Chris Deisenger
    Good Wind Developer Guidelines for Easement Contracts and Community Relations, Brad Haight, Murray Franke Greenhouse List & Lippit LLP
  • Overview of USDA renewable energy programs, US Department of Agriculture

Low Income/People of Color Procurement Opportunities to Sell Energy Products to Public Agencies

Moderator: Paul Reeves, CEO/Founder of One World Energy

  • Mel Jones, President, Sterling Planet
  • Tran Nhon, National Minority Purchasing Council
  • Rodney McGee, Metropolitan Economic Development Association’s (MEDA) Procurement Technical Assistance Center
  • Ralph Paige, Federation of Southern Cooperatives
  • Gary Grant (invited)


Roundtable: Local/Farmer Owned Projects
Farmers and small project developers tell their stories, focusing on the wind development process.

Panel: USDA Programs: Energy Title and Value Added Grants- Presentations and discussion on USDA renewable energy funding opportunities and NEPA (environmental and historical studies) requirements.

Moderator/Speaker: Heather Rhoads-Weaver, Northwest SEED

  • USDA Application Process, David Gaffaney, USDA Rural Development, Minnesota Office
  • Environmental & Historical Studies/NEPA, Jon Childers, USDA Rural Development, Minnesota Office
  • Developer's Perspective, Paul Woodin, Western Wind Power Consulting

Panel: Project Finance for Lenders

Moderator: Charles Kubert, Environmental Law and Policy Center

  • Experiences Financing Wind Projects, Ken Reiners, Senior Director, Agstar Financial Services
  • Experiences Financing Wind Projects, Mike Hansen, VP, First Farmers and Merchants National Bank
  • What does a Banker Need to Know? Daniel Otten, bank and business consulting

Roundtable: Tribal Projects
A discussion of existing community wind projects up and running on Indian reservations and reserves in the U.S. and Canadian Great Plains and Great Lakes.

Morning Break: 10:40-11:00 am

Session 2: 11:00 am-12:15 pm


Wind Energy Economics and Business Structure
Details on business structure options, securing financing, and project cash flow.

Moderator: Dave Miller, Iowa Farm Bureau

  • Business Structures, Jeff Paulson, Jeffrey C. Paulson & Associates
  • Business Plan Decision Process and Research, Mark Willers, Minwind Energy
  • Project Economics and Cash Flow Modeling, Tom Wind, Wind Utility Consulting

Intertribal Projects
Presentations on developing intertribal wind development projects.

  • Forming a Tribal Utility Company, chartered under the Blackfoot Confederacy and the Blackfeet Tribe (Montana, US) for wind, hydro and transmission, William Big Bull, Piikuni Nation
  • Northern Great Plains Collaborative Intertribal Wind Demonstration Project, Patrick Spears, Lower Brule Lakota Nation
  • Energy Independence Day Campaign partnership with Tribal renewable energy meeting ICLEI city emissions reduction, Bob Gough, Intertribal COUP

Community Wind and Local Government

Moderator: Steve Wegman, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission

  • National Wind Coordinating Committee Permitting Handbook, Rachel Permut, NWCC
  • Components of a Good Wind Energy Ordinance, Larry Hartman, MN Environmental Quality Board (invited)
  • Permitting Illinois Community Wind Projects, Nanci N. Rogers, Attorney, Robbins Schwartz Nicholas Lifton & Taylor Ltd.
  • Wind Energy Tax Strategies from a Local Community Perspective, Jack Keers, Rural Minnesota Energy Task Force and Pipestone County Commissioner
  • Building Community Support for Wind, Malcolm Brown, Board Member, Hull Municipal Light Plant

Lunch with keynote speaker: 12:15-1:30 pm

So You Want to Build a Wind Project...
David Kolsrud, Farmer/Manager of Corner Stone Farmers Cooperative

Session 2 (continued): 1:30 pm-2:30 pm


Roundtable/Panel: School and Municipal Projects
Funding opportunities, project economics, and community organizing for school and municipal projects.

Moderator: Tom Potter, New Center for Rural Economic and Energy Development

  • Tom Wind, Wind Utility Consulting
  • Keith Bolin, Bureau Valley Illinois School Board
  • Don Coats, Oregon farmer
  • Jesper Michaelsen, Vestas
  • Christopher Reed, Nemadji Energy

Roundtable: Wind Energy Economics, Business Plans for Farmers/Local Investors
Opportunity to discuss project economics, business structures, and financing with experienced community wind lenders and developers.

Panel: Rural Electric Cooperatives
Case studies and options for RECs.

Moderator/Speaker: Tim Seck, Great River Energy

  • Blaine Strampe, Chief Electrical Engineer, Federated Rural Electric and Nobles Cooperative Electric
  • Larry Flowers, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Sean Middleton, Illinois Renewable Electric Cooperative (invited)

Afternoon Break: 2:30-2:45 pm

Session 3: 2:45 pm-4:00 pm

Marketing Power and Getting Your Project on the Grid
Marketing your power, getting your project on the grid, renewable energy credits, and how to work with a utility.

Moderator: Commissioner Phyllis Reha, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

  • Interconnection: Technical Requirements and Standards, Tom Wind, Wind Utility Consulting
  • Interconnection and Power Purchase Agreements, Jeff Paulson, Jeffrey C. Paulson and Associates
  • How to Work with a Utility, Xcel Energy
  • Marketing Green Power, Rosebud Example, Robert Gough, Intertribal Council on Utility Policy
  • Project Operations, Dan Juhl, DanMar & Associates

Closing Session: 4:00-4:45 pm

Making the Leap
How do you know when your project is ready? A wrap up discussion on when to start making financial commitments, confidence factors, and how to get your team organized.

Moderators: Janet Streff, Minnesota Department of Commerce and Lisa Daniels, Windustry

  • Tom Wind, Wind Utility Consulting
  • Dan Juhl, DanMar & Associates
  • Jeff Paulson, Jeffrey C. Paulson & Associates
  • Robert Gough, Intertribal Council on Utility Policy
  • Paul Woodin, Western Wind Power Consulting
  • Mark Willers, Minwind Energy