Wind and Solar Energy Is Focus of Northwest Iowa Conference

A growing interest in alternative energy sources, sparked by soaring oil prices and the development of large wind farms, has raised many questions about wind and solar energy in northwest Iowa.

To address this important topic, a Wind and Solar Energy Conference will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at the Sioux City Convention Center, 801 4th St., Sioux City from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Woodbury and Plymouth counties, along with other partner organizations, are presenting the conference.

“Iowa has become a national leader in the development of alternative energy sources, including the exciting fields of wind and solar energy,” said Sherry McGill, ISU Extension and Outreach regional director. “This conference will explore what is happening currently in wind and solar energy.”

The Wind and Solar Energy Conference will help business and industry leaders, home owners, individuals, farmers and schools better understand wind and solar energy today and explore the potential for the future. The conference will also provide additional information about alternative sources of electricity.

A conference highlight will be Brent Nelson, senior planner for the city of Sioux City, presenting on the regulations regarding installation of wind turbines and solar panels in Sioux City.

An overview of wind and solar energy resources in Iowa will be given by Bill Haman, Iowa Energy Center industrial program manager. In addition, Jason Gideon from Kirkwood College will present how to install solar panels.

Other topics to be covered include planning and zoning, real life wind and solar experiences, and financing options: loans, grants, tax benefits and rebates for Iowa’s expanding renewable energy industry.

Registration is $35 by Friday, Feb. 15 and includes morning refreshments and lunch. Registrations received after the Feb. 15 deadline will be $45. Conference brochures, registration forms and additional conference information are available on the Woodbury County Extension website at www.extension.iastate.edu/woodbury. For additional information please contact Sherry McGill at 712-276-2157 or mcgills@iastate.edu.

Businesses interested in being a vendor should contact the Woodbury County Extension Office at 712-276-2157.

Conference sponsors are the City of Sioux City, ISU Extension and Outreach-Woodbury and Plymouth counties, USDA Rural Development, MidAmerican Energy, Touchstone Energy Cooperatives of Western Iowa, Woodbury County Farm Bureau, Woodbury County Rural Economic Development and the Iowa Energy Center.

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