Windustry in Consumer Reports Article

September 25, 2014. The journal Consumer Reports just published an article about methods for making money off of your home.  One section is devoted to wind and solar power and quotes Windustry's Lisa Daniels.  From the article: 

You can also monetize your property by using it to generate solar or wind power. “Most people think of wind power as these farms of 50 to 100 turbines,” Lisa Daniels, executive director of the advocacy group Windustry, said. Indeed, if you’re lucky enough to have acres of high, clear, windy land that’s near high-voltage transmission lines, you could earn hundreds of thousands from a wind-power company. But today’s technology also allows for small-scale projects that could power your house and perhaps help supply the neighborhood.

Here’s how: A wind company installs a single turbine on a metal pole, perhaps 100 feet up to clear trees and buildings. You stay connected to the grid and draw power from the utility when you need more than the turbine can supply. But when the wind is up, the mill can power all of your electrical needs—and even pump extra voltage onto the electrical grid, spinning your meter backward, so you get credit for the contribution.

With a wind lease from a company such as United Wind, there’s no up-front cost, but you’ll wind up with two monthly electric payments—one greatly reduced bill from the utility, thanks to lower usage, and another from the wind-power company, for what you draw from the turbine, at a below-market-rate price. The bottom line, Daniels says, is about a 10 percent savings, which in a high-electrical-cost area could mean $300 per year.

UN Secretary-General's Climate Summit: "Dear Matafele Peinem"

September 23, 2014.  26 year old poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, from the Marshall Islands, addressed the Opening Ceremony of the UN Secretary-General's Climate Summit. Kathy was selected from among over 500 civil society candidates in an open, global nomination process conducted by the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service.Kathy performed a new poem entitled "Dear Matafele Peinem", written to her daughter. The poem received a standing ovation. Kathy is also a teacher, journalist and founder of the environmental NGO, Jo-jikum.

Wind Turbine Syndrome? A Survey of Midwestern Residents

 A new survey came out today which questioned residents in the Midwest about their thoughts on renewable energy and included questions about wind turbine syndrome.  The following quote is from an article in Midwest  Energy News titled Midwesterners not buying ‘wind turbine syndrome’:

 "A bipartisan poll on energy issues released earlier this week found that in six Midwestern states – Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin – only 14 percent of respondents believe wind  turbines harm human health.

 The survey of 2,477 voters was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and FM3 on behalf of RE-AMP, which publishes Midwest Energy News.

Among the states surveyed, the lowest percentage of people who believe wind turbines cause health problems (7 percent) was in Iowa, a state that leads the nation in proportion of energy from wind.

Meanwhile, the highest percentage believing such claims (21 percent) was in Wisconsin, a state which has far fewer wind farms and where some political leaders have in recent years been hostile to renewable and distributed energy."

Join the Climate Ride finish at Northerly Island September 9th!!

September 3, 2014. Join this year's riders to celebrate the end of Climate Ride, a 300-mile benefit bike ride to raise awareness of bike advocacy, sustainability, renewable energyand the threat of climate change, beginning in Grand Rapids, MI and ending at Northerly Island in Chicago, IL.

For more details read the press release below.

Support Windustry at Climate Ride 2014!

Did you know that Windustry is a beneficiary for Climate Ride?

August 2014. This fall, Climate Ride will be biking  to promote and support organizations related to sustainability, climate, clean energy, and more. There is still time to sign up for the following rides.  The Midwest route is brand new this year!

Midwest Climate Ride
When: September 6-9, 2014
Where: Grand Rapids, MI to Chicago, IL
(register here)

NYC-DC Climate Ride
When: September 20-24, 2014
Where: NYC to Washington D.C.
(register here)

Join us at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair!

August 21, 2014. Come visit the Windustry staff and volunteers at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair! We are presenting the Wind Energy Center within the Eco Experience from August 21-September 21, 2014.

Come and see the awe-inspring 123 foot tall wind turbine blade and climb into a replica base of a wind turbine.  You can also see many maps of wind speeds and wind projects throughout Minnesota and view videos about wind energy. We have tools and information to help you find out if your home is suitable for a wind project and to learn about policies like net metering.  We will also take your picture and make you a free pin with it!

The Wind Energy Center booth is staffed from 9am to 9pm every day of the fair.  Come into the Eco-Experience Building and say hello!

Read more about our state fair activities here.

Lisa Daniels Presents Resource Center Plan at National Conference

May 5, 2014. At the WINDExchange Summit held in conjunction with the American Wind Energy Association's annual conference, Lisa Daniels gave a presentation on Windustry's plans for the Midwest Wind Resource Center. Representatives of the other regions who received DOE grants for regional wind resource centers also presented their plans. Look forward in the coming months to learning more about this effort.

The WINDExchange Summit provides our network of regional entities, state energy officials, state wind working groups, U.S. Department of Energy, national lab representatives, and professional and institutional partners an opportunity to review successes, obtain updates on industry issues, investigate opportunities, and discuss challenges related to wind energy.

2014 REAP Funding Announced

*May 5, 2014  – The USDA announced funding for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP provides grants and loan guarantees to farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses for a wide range of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. You can see the official notice here

This funding announcement is the first of two rounds of funding to be announced this year. The available funds total $28.2 million. Later this year, the USDA will release the final REAP rule and announce the mandatory funding from the Farm Bill of $50 million. The ultimate share of this funding between grants and loan guarantees will be determined by public demand.

The USDA application deadlines follow:

 Applications involving grantsJuly 7, 2014
 Guaranteed loan only applicationsJuly 31, 2014

The first step for potential applicants with project plans in hand is to contact the USDA Rural Development state energy coordinator. It is important to work with these staff, who can help you through the application process. It is also important to connect with your energy coordinators early in the process – and well in advance of deadlines — as they become very busy.

Due to changes in the new Farm Bill, there will be no funding for flexible fuel blender pumps or feasibility studies. Due to the late funding notice (after April 1), there will be no funding in 2014 for Energy Audits or Renewable Energy Development Assistance. 

Editorial Note: USDA Continues Loan Guarantee Preference

The funding notice includes a number of regrettable and unneeded preferences for loan guarantees over grants that complicate the program, such as longer timelines and preferred treatment of applications. The USDA’s continuing preference for loan guarantees is quite odd given the well-established disinterest from the public in loan guarantees. Loan guarantees primarily help bankers and actually cost money to the project owner while not lowering financing costs. We would prefer the agency to drop this preference and focus on the program mission.

*Adapted from the Environmental Law and Policy Center announcement.

Congratulations to the Recipients of the 2014 Community Wind Awards!

Lloyd Ritter, founder of Green Capital, LLC, is the recipient of the Distinguished Service in Community Wind Award for 2014.

The selection for the Community Wind Innovator Award for 2014 is Chris Diaz, Senior Vice President, Renewable Finance, Seminole Financial Services.


From left to right, Larry Flowers of AWEA, Jim Duffy of Nixon Peabody, LLP, Lisa Daniels of Windustry, Lloyd Ritter of Green Capital, LLC, and Heather Rhodes-Weaver of e-formative Options.

Distinguished Service in Community Wind Award for 2014

The Windustry Board of Directors along with the Community Wind Peer Group is pleased to announce the 2014 Distinguished Service in Community Wind Award. This award is given annually to a person who has made an exceptionally significant contribution to the establishment and growth of Community Wind as a uniquely valuable form of clean, renewable energy.

The recipient of this award possesses outstanding dedication, excellence or achievement and has worked over many years to further the goals of community wind and distributed renewable energy. This person is an exemplary professional and a mentor for others. This person is regarded as a creative leader in his/her professional field and embodies methods of practice and aspects of being that we aspire to ourselves.

This is the fourth year presenting this annual award. The Distinguished Service in Community Wind 2014 award goes to Lloyd Ritter.

Lloyd Ritter

Principal / Founder Green Capitol, LLC

Since 2000 Lloyd Ritter has worked in several capacities to establish and grow community and distributed wind. For several years, Lloyd worked on staff of Senator Tom Harkin, Iowa and was Senior Counsel to the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. Lloyd designed the first ever energy title in the Farm Bill of 2002. This “landmark legislation” has been refined, expanded, and firmed up with mandatory funding in subsequent Farm Bills. Lloyd worked to revise the US Fish and Wildlife Guidelines, so smaller projects have right sized requirements. Over his several years of involvement with community and distributed wind, Lloyd has organized many high level meetings and opportunities for community wind and distributed wind folks to talk with leadership in federal agencies and discuss policy with congressional members and staff. In 2009, Lloyd founded Green Capitol, LLC where he and his associates specialize in clean energy and environmental advocacy, strategic planning and public policy development. Green Capitol’s clients have included Energy Foundation, Governors WindPower Coalition, and the Distributed Wind Energy Association. Windustry and the 2014 Community Wind Peer Committee applaud Lloyd’s hard work and dedication to broaden the scope of national renewable policy to include community and distributed wind energy development and increase its deployment.

Community Wind Innovator Award, 2014 

The Windustry Board of Directors along with a Peer Group of Community Wind Colleagues is pleased to present the Community Wind Innovator Award. This award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant progress over the past one to two years in forging ahead with new policies, new approaches, new business models or new research to further community and distributed wind energy. This person's ideas and efforts have changed how we think about or perform our work.

The recipient of this award: has creative vision about implementing community and distributed wind; is immensely generous in sharing his/her time for the promotion of community and distributed wind; and is a person of great heart. 

This is the fourth year presenting this annual award. The 2014 awardee for the Community Wind Innovator Award is Chris Diaz.

Chris Diaz

Senior Vice President, Renewable Finance, Seminole Financial Services

Since joining Seminole Financial Services in 2010, it wasn’t long before Chris was making deals for community wind projects all over the nation. Chris has been responsible for identifying, evaluating and negotiating renewable energy finance transactions, for both wind and solar, between $2 million and $30 million in need of construction/interim financing and permanent debt. It is rare to find someone who specializes in this size transaction and this role that Chris has defined is valuable to the community wind and distributed renewable projects. Also, he has played a major part in integrating new financial strategies such as New Markets Tax Credits. Through his participation in national and regional conferences and frequent speaking engagements, Chris is often sharing information to help make distributed renewable projects more bankable and buildable.

Prior to Seminole, Chris was employed by Credit Suisse, MMA Financial and the Midland Companies where he gained over 15 years of experience with tax credits and financial services.

(This award will be presented to Chris Diaz at the Windpower 2014 Conference in Las Vegas, in May.)


Peer Group of Community Wind Colleagues

The Windustry Board of Directors thanks the 2014 Community Wind Peer Group for the colleague nominations and selections for the awards. The 2014 Community Wind Peer Group participants were Tom Wind, Wind Utility Consulting; Kevin Schulte, Sustainable Energy Developments; Heather Rhodes-Weaver, eFormative Options; Jim Duffy, Nixon Peabody, LLP; Larry Flowers, AWEA; and Lisa Daniels, Windustry.


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