Arkansas to Explore Wind Energy Opportunities

Monday, December 10, 2007

FORT SMITH, Arkansas (December 7, 2007) – One answer to Arkansas’ future energy needs may be blowing through the trees. In many parts of the country, commercial and private wind turbines are capturing the power of wind and converting it to electricity.

 

To help the public better understand the potential of this power, the Arkansas Energy Office is sponsoring a day-long Arkansas Wind Energy Conference on January 17, 2008 at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.

 

Keynote speaker Larry Flowers of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will discuss global and national trends for wind energy, according to Maureen Rose, program associate with the U of A Cooperative Extension Service, who is helping organize the event. He’ll give an overview of which states have been successful in developing wind power and how they achieved success by developing capacity and policy.

 

There will also be a discussion of the costs of wind-produced electricity, land leasing and financing options through private and public/private investments.

 

LM Glasfiber, the world’s leading producer of wind turbine blades, recently announced plans to build a manufacturing facility in Little Rock, Arkansas. The plant will employ over 1,000 people. The company is also locating its North American corporate headquarters in Little Rock. A representative of the company, a contributing sponsor of the conference, will speak at the event.

 

Tom Wind, an Iowa industry consultant will talk about community and agricultural applications, interconnecting to the electrical grid, financing small community wind projects and uses for large and small wind turbines for specific needs.

 

“After lunch, a panel discussion will explore Arkansas’ wind potential, training for teachers and students and developing a wind energy workforce,” Rose said.

 

The conference will also address the environmental, legal and aesthetic issues surrounding wind energy and its potential economic opportunities in Arkansas.

 

Conference participants will be invited to be part of the Arkansas Wind Working Group, being formed to explore wind energy opportunities in greater depth.

 

The conference begins at 8 a.m. in the Reynolds Room of the Campus Center and ends at 2:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required. There is no charge for those registered by January 10, 2008, but there will be a $20 charge after that date. To register online, go to http://survey.uaex.edu/CD/AWEC/awec.htm">http://survey.uaex.edu/CD/AWEC/awec.htm. For more information, e-mail Maureen Rose at mrose@uaex.edu or call 501-671-2066.

 

The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the U of A Division of Agriculture. The Arkansas Energy Office is a part of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.