State, national experts to speak at Nebraska Wind Conference
National, state and local experts on wind energy will speak at the 5th annual Nebraska Wind Conference set for Oct. 22 to 23 in Lincoln, Neb., at the Cornhusker Hotel. This year's theme is "United and Strategic in Advancing the Wind Industry of Nebraska."
Rob Gramlich, senior vice president of public policy for the American Wind Energy Association, will be the keynote speaker at the Oct. 23 noon luncheon. He will update participants about the status of U.S. wind development, national trends, and the extension of the Production Tax Credit program, which many see as the single most important issue facing the future of wind energy.
Gramlich joined AWEA in 2005 and now leads the association's strategic initiatives related to federal and state legislation, industry information and analysis, regulatory policy, and electric industry reforms. He serves on the U.S. Department of Energy's Electricity Advisory Committee.
United States Senate Candidate Bob Kerrey (D) will address the attendees at a general session on Oct. 23 at 11:05 a.m. A decorated Vietnam Veteran, Kerrey served as Nebraska's governor from 1983-1987, and as a United States senator from Nebraska from 1989 to 2001. Kerrey is a long-time national leader on ethanol and renewable energy development.
"We are pleased and excited about the diversity and stature of the speakers at this year's conference," said Rich Lombardi, program chair for the conference. "It is great that we can bring this caliber of presenters together at one time in the same location. They will do an excellent job of covering the always changing wind energy issues."
Former Nebraska Wind Conference keynote speaker James Walker, Ph.D., of EDF Renewable Energy in California, Clarence Moisher of Greenfield, Iowa, and Mayor Gregg Wortham of Sweetwater, Texas, will share how wind energy development can help grow and transform rural communities with the additional rural economic development income and jobs.
Walker is the past chairman of AWEA's Board of Directors, vice chairman of enXco, Inc., a leading wind energy development company, and served as an energy advisor in the Executive Office of the President in the Nixon and Ford administrations. Walker is the chair of the AWEA Community Wind Committee, and is a past keynote speaker for the Nebraska Wind Conference.
Clarence Moisher is the executive vice president of Farmers Electric Cooperative, Inc. and has 40 years of experience in the energy industry. He has been aggressively working with local landowners to take advantage of wind energy development.
Mayor Wortham is executive director of the Texas Wind Energy Clearinghouse. His 30 years of experience in the energy industry helped get him elected as Mayor of Sweetwater, Texas, the Wind Energy Capital of the Americas and America's Energy Solutions Center.
A keynote panel of chief executive officers from the state's three largest electric generation and transmission entities - Omaha Public Power District's Gary Gates, Nebraska Public Power District's Pat Pope, and Lincoln Electric Systems' Kevin Wailes will address the future of wind generation potential in Nebraska.
Additional breakout sessions will focus on wildlife issues, career opportunities/training and small renewable initiatives.
Representatives from the Southwest Power Pool and NPPD will provide an update on Nebraska's planned high voltage transmission line public routing process set to begin this fall, with construction expected to be completed by 2018. The new transmission line will provide reliability and relief to the transmission system and could enable the development of new wind opportunities in the state.
For more information on the conference including a current list of registrants and programs, go to www.Nebraskawindconference.com. Registration is $100 and is limited to the first 325 attendees.
For hotel reservations contact the Cornhusker Hotel at 402-474-7474 or online at http://thecornhuskerhotel.com. Be sure to mention you are with the Nebraska Wind Conference to get the group room rate of $104 plus tax per night.