Montana State University

Free wind energy is focus of April 9 conference

March 19, 2009

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
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BOZEMAN -- "Making Wind Energy Work for You" is the focus of a free April 9 conference at Fort Peck Community College in Poplar.

The event is co-sponsored by Fort Peck Community College, Montana State University Extension and Montana's Agro Energy Plan. It is designed to provide agricultural producers, tribal and community leaders and others with unbiased information about wind development in Montana.

The American Wind Energy Association ranks Montana's wind resource as the fifth best in the nation, said Joel Schumacher, MSU economist and one of the program's organizers. Despite the quality of Montana's wind resource, the state has only 271 megawatts of capacity compared to a national capacity of over 26,000 megawatts. Speakers at the conference will discuss opportunities, models and challenges involved with developing viable wind projects in Montana.

Those speakers will include Roger Taylor of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Chantel McCormick and Lesa Evers of the Montana Department of Commerce, Jessica Raker of the Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development, Bob Gough of the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy, Gary Weins of the Montana Association of Electric Cooperatives, Walter Tail Feather of the Fort Peck Energy Department, Stoney Anketell of the Fort Peck Tribal Council and Dave Ryan of the National Center for Appropriate Technology. Those attending the conference will have the opportunity to tour a small scale wind turbine located in Poplar.

The conference will be held at the Greet the Dawn Auditorium of Fort Peck Community College. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. The conference starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. It is free of charge but preregistration is requested. For more information or to preregister contact the FPCC staff at (406) 768-3025.

Contact: Joel B. Schumacher (406) 994-6637 or jschumacher@montana.edu