Conference Will Explore Wind and Solar Energy in Iowa

AMES, Iowa--The nation’s leading researchers are dedicating themselves to the search for improved alternative energy sources. In Iowa, a national leader in alternative energy, there more than 1,100 working wind powered turbines across the state and researchers are exploring solar energy to add to Iowa’s sustainable energy contribution.

Iowa business leaders, homeowners, livestock producers and environmentalists will have the opportunity to consult with experts on this topic at a Wind and Solar Energy Conference on March 2. The conference, offered by Iowa State University Extension in Plymouth County and other partner organizations, will be held  at the Le Mars Convention Center, 275 12th Street SE, Le Mars, Iowa, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“The conference addresses the latest research in Iowa’s alternative energy,” said Sherry McGill, ISU Extension regional director.  “It gives Iowans the opportunity to learn how these alternative energy methods affect them legally and financially.”

Speakers from the Iowa Energy Center, USDA Rural Development and Iowa State University will address various  wind and solar energy topics, including legal considerations, planning and zoning, financing Iowa’s energy industry and utility companies information.

Presentation highlights include Bill Haman of the Iowa Energy Center with an overview of wind and solar energy resources in “Wind Energy Resources in Iowa-The Bolts and Nuts” and “Solar Energy Resources in Iowa-An Alternative to Wind Energy”.

Other conference speakers include Aaron Chittenden, city of West Des Moines; Erin Herbold, Iowa State University Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation; Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development; Mark Reinders, MidAmerican Energy Co. and entrepreneurs Gregg Heide and Paul Rekow.

Planning partners of the Wind and Solar Energy Conference include Iowa State University Extension, USDA Rural Development and Plymouth County Economic Development.

Sponsors are MidAmerican Energy Co., Touchstone Energy Cooperatives of Western Iowa, USDA Rural Development, Plymouth County Farm Bureau, Plymouth County Economic Development and ISU Extension – Plymouth County.

The registration fee, which includes coffee, rolls and lunch, is $35 before Feb. 22; $45 after that date. Register online and view the conference agenda and other publications at For additional information, contact Carol Schneider at (712) 546-7835 or