Energizing a resource

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 4, 2003

Technology and the development of wind energy in Minnesota will be the topics for an informational meeting this Saturday at Ellis Middle School.

Sen. Dan Sparks will give opening remarks as a lead-in to the speakers, all of whom are professionals associated with wind energy. Representatives from the American Wind Energy Association, Windustry, DanMar Associates, MinWind I and MinWind II will give presentations.

"We'll be providing as much good sound information as we can pack into the two and a half hours," Lisa Daniels, Executive Director of Windustry, said.

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She said it is important that Minnesotans are aware of the issues surrounding renewable energy. Incentive bills in the house and senate as well as legislation surrounding Xcel Energy and their requests for nuclear waste storage space are items that need the attention of the public, she said.

Daniels said Minnesota's reliance on energy sources like coal, uranium and natural gas hurts the economy.

"All of those are imports into our state," she said. "Wind energy is an indigenous resource in our state."

Because of that, Daniels said, with investment in wind energy, Minnesota could become more self-reliant and keep money from going out of state.

"We're working towards promoting wind energy on its economic benefits aspect," she said.

Daniels stressed that the meeting is not just for farmers. She hopes Austin-area citizens and officials will also come to learn about and lend support to the efforts to develop renewable energy sources.

"We also want to impress upon local officials how interested people are in the area just by how many people show up," she said.

The meeting will go from 1-3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 5 in the Ellis Middle School Auditorium. There is a three dollar charge to cover the cost of the facility.

Matt Merritt can be reached at 434-2214 or by email at matt.merritt@austindailyherald.com