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Wind energy workshop set for Oct. 6 at El Reno

Oklahoma

Rural landowners in Oklahoma who want to learn more about wind energy development can do so at the upcoming Wind Energy Leasing Program workshop.

Slated Oct. 6 at the Canadian Valley Career Tech in El Reno, the workshop is geared toward landowners who may be approached for wind energy development, said Shannon Ferrell, assistant professor of agricultural law at Oklahoma State University.

"We want to provide landowners an opportunity to learn the basics of the electrical industry and how wind energy fits into that," Ferrell said. "We also want them to learn what it takes for the landowners and the developers to have a successful wind energy project and to help landowners make informed decisions when entering into a wind energy lease."

Ferrell said there are five questions a landowner should ask themselves regarding a wind energy lease. First, how will the wind energy project impact their personal use of the land? Landowners also need to find out how long the project will last, as well as what their own responsibilities are under the agreement.

"Landowners need to know how they are getting paid for the agreement, in addition to what will happen after the agreement is over," he said. "They need to know if their land will be restored to its original condition, which can include restoring soil and plant life."

Other industry professionals will be on hand at the workshop to cover topics such as how wind farms affect the community in the areas of aesthetics, noise, tax revenue and impact on roads and highways; and the basics of wind energy and the grid.

Participants will have the opportunity to take a bus tour of the NextEra Minco Wind Energy Center.

The workshop is free, but participants are asked to pre-register by calling the Canadian County OSU Cooperative Extension office in El Reno at 405-262-0155. The workshop begins at 8 a.m. and will conclude at approximately 3 p.m. Workshop funding is provided by the USDA Risk Management Agency and the Southern Risk Management Education Center.

"This past decade has seen an explosion of wind energy, especially in Oklahoma, and we expect more growth to come," Ferrell said. "We believe this workshop will help landowners gain a better understanding of Oklahoma's wind energy industry, as well as help them take an active part and informed role in its future."

For more information about the workshop, please contact the Canadian County OSU Cooperative Extension office at 405-262-0155.

Date: 9-24-2012



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