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Wind energy blowing in revenue for Wyo

Wind energy blowing in revenue for Wyo

Friday, July 29, 2011

Wind energy blowing in revenue for Wyo
By Seneca Flowers - Wyoming Business Report

LARAMIE — Experts believe wind power will be blowing stronger business and revenue in for the state through the selling of energy and local benefits gained by turbine operations/productions.

There were about 100 people in attendance at the Laramie Wind Road Show & Dinner Thursday night, to hear people from all over the state discuss wind energy.

Wyoming Infrastructure Authority Executive Director Lloyd Drain said he was very optimistic about the state’s ability to produce cheap wind and sell it to the energy market.

The Wyoming Infrastructure Authority has been working with several transmission developers and showed a list of prospective transmission lines, Drain said. The lines are vital to the state’s ability to send electricity elsewhere for profit. “July has been a wonderful month for what we are trying to do,” he said.

Drain believes that, although states like California are currently pursuing in-state produced electricity, the actual demand will surpass production, and they will need other outside sources. Building transmission lines to these places were integral to selling Wyoming power, not only wind, but also natural gas, he added.

Doug Cook, Laramie County Community College dean of the Career and Technical Education Center, said wind power education and training was still immature. LCCC and the University of Wyoming have been aggressive at making sure they are staying up with current trends and business needs. He hopes the state government embraces wind energy, he added.

UW Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Jonathan W. Naughton said Wyoming economies will benefit from wind turbines in several ways, such as manufacturing, wind plant development, operations, research and development, turbine maintenance and repair.

According to Naughton, LCCC and UW have a good program for preparing students for life-long careers in wind energy. He described wind energy as "a piece to the energy puzzle" because it integrates with other energies very effectively.

Western Regional Representative of American Wind Energy Association Tom Darin said Wyoming is in the top 10 states with wind installations, because the state has more class 5-7 wind than anywhere else in the U.S.

Wyoming Business Report