Wind Power 2011, the fourth annual wind conference sponsored by the Nebraska Wind Working Group, was held November 15-16 in Kearney at the Younes Conference Center. The Wind Working Group is a state and federal partnership funded by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America to help develop the state’s wind resources.
The Wind Working Group has received the “Outstanding State Wind Working Group” in the nation award from Wind Powering America for their work in 2011.
The two-day conference focused on Nebraska’s future wind energy development challenges and opportunities, including the pivotal role of transmission. It included multiple tracks of programs that provided participants many opportunities to attend sessions that interested them. The entire range of wind energy development issues were addressed, with sessions and workshops on state and national wind energy policy, commercial wind energy development, farmer and community owned wind, transmission and integration, small wind energy systems, economic development opportunities, jobs, careers, and wind energy training programs and workforce potential.
The Nebraska Wind Working Group Co-Chairs are former State Senator Cap Dierks, sponsor of the first major wind development bill passed unanimously by the Legislature in 2007, Dan McGuire, Facilitator for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Wind Powering America’s “Wind for Schools” program in Nebraska and Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen.
“This annual wind conference gets better year after year. Our program focusus on the future, and what is necessary for our state to narrow the gap between current wind development and our third best in the nation ranked wind energy resources,” said Sen. Cap Dierks.
John Hansen stated, “Nebraska is the only state whose electrical system is 100% publicly owned, so it stands to reason our challenges and opportunities are unique. We want to give our state leaders ample opportunities to share their perspectives on how to move wind development forward in our state.”
The Conference Agenda and Speakers' Presentations as well as a copy of the Wind Conference 2011 Program can be found on the Energy Office’s website.