Conference Summary

Conference Speakers





Conference Summary

The Wind Energy and Rural Development in North Dakota V Conference was held February 18-19, 2004, at the Ramada Plaza Suites and Conference Center in Fargo, North Dakota. The conference, hosted by U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan, attracted 436 people from 30 states and three Candian provinces. The Wind Energy Expo featured 35 top affiliated industry organizations.

For the first time since the event began in 1999, the conference included a second day of events because of increased interest in wind energy. The expanded lineup allowed conference participants to attend more sessions and hear from more wind energy experts on how to get involved in the new and growing industry.

"North Dakota's skyline and economic future are forever changing as a result of our state's wind energy industry," said U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan. "We see the progress by the dozens of 230-foot wind turbines sprouting up throughout the state and the economic boost the industry is giving to the region. This conference will look at the progress we've made; discuss future plans; and explore how farmers, ranchers, and other North Dakotans can join the growing industry and participate in its economic future."

"Senator Dorgan's leadership in the development of our wind resources is unparalleled in this country," said Gerald Groenewold, Director of the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC). "We are very pleased to work with him as a unique strategic partner to enhance wind energy opportunities in this state."

The event featured a keynote address by Admiral Richard Truly, Director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Denver. Admiral Truly, a former Space Shuttle astronaut and head of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), discussed NREL research and its impact on the industry. North Dakota Congressman Earl Pomeroy and North Dakota Governor John Hoeven presented comments as well.

The Wind V Conference also included an update from Jay Haley, President of Grand Forks-based EAPC Architects Engineers, on North Dakota wind projects. Also featured was a panel discussion on wind projects around the world by Tim Sale, Minister of Energy, Science, and Technology for the province of Manitoba, Canada; Brad Crabtree of the Great Plains Institute for Sustainable Development; and Leif Anderson of NEG Micon.

A new attraction at this year's wind conference was the USDA Farm Bill Workshop. The workshop was the first for North Dakota and provided landowners with the latest information, tools, and resources on how to begin pursuing locally owned renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

Conference Overview
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Opening Registration (exhibits open)
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
7:30 - 8:30 a.m. Registration - Continental Breakfast (exhibits open)
8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Welcome and Keynote Addresses
9:30 - 10:00 a.m. "Update of North Dakota Projects"
10:00 - 10:30 a.m. Break (exhibits open)
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Panel on "What Are Other Countries/Areas Doing?"
12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Lunch
  Stream A Stream B
1:30 - 3:00 p.m. Session 1A: Current Legislation Session 1B: How to Successfully Install, Operate, and Maintain a Home-/Farm-Sized Wind Turbine
3:00 - 3:30 p.m. Break (exhibits open)
3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Session 2A: Emerging Markets for Wind Session 2B: Financing Methods for Wind Farms
5:00 - 7:30 p.m Exhibit Social
7:30 p.m. USDA Farm Bill Workshop
Thursday, February 19, 2004
7:30 - 8:30 a.m. Registration - Continental Breakfast (exhibits open)
8:30 - 10:30 a.m. Session 3A: Transmission Issues Session 3B: Emerging Technology - Innovations for Integrating Wind Energy
10:30 - 11:00 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m. Town Hall Question-and-Answer Session (followed by boxed lunch "to go")

Final conference program

Conference Demographics
The Wind V Conference attracted attendees from 30 states and three Canadian provinces. Representatives attended from 54 cities in North Dakota, 33 in Minnesota, eight in South Dakota, and seven in California. Other states represented include Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Montana, Oregon, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

Total Registered: 436
Landowners: 12%
Industry: 31%
Research/Academia: 10%
Government: 13%
Development Groups: 11%
Finance: 2%
Staff: 3%
Others: 9%

Organizing Sponsors
The conference was organized and sponsored by:

  • U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan
  • Energy & Environmental Research Center
  • U.S. Department of Energy Wind Powering America
  • North Dakota Department of Commerce Division of Community Services

Organizing Committee

  • Kim Christianson, State Energy Officer, Division of Community Services, North Dakota Department of Commerce, Bismarck, North Dakota
  • Mike Eggl, Vice President of Government Relations, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Bismarck, North Dakota
  • Larry Flowers, Team Leader, NREL, National Wind Technology Center, Golden, Colorado
  • Maynard Friesz, Office of Senator Dorgan, Washington, D.C.
  • Deb Haley, Associate Director, EERC, Grand Forks, North Dakota
  • Jay Haley, President, EAPC Architects Engineers, Grand Forks, North Dakota
  • Jerome Hinkle, Office of Senator Dorgan, Washington, D.C.
  • Michael Hohl, wHOHLe Management Solutions, Inc., Fargo, North Dakota
  • Scot Kelsh, State Representative, North Dakota Energy Project Coordinator, Sustainable Energy for Economic Development, Fargo, North Dakota
  • Troy Simonsen, Research Engineer, EERC Plains Organization for Wind Energy ResourcesSM (POWERSM), Grand Forks, North Dakota
  • Brad Stevens, EERC Research Engineer and Manager of EERC POWERSM, Grand Forks, North Dakota

Attendee Comments

  • "A nice variety of technical and policy topics and participation."
  • "[This conference is] one more step forward to North Dakota and regional wind."
  • "Excellent conference, well organized, and a pleasant surprise - excellent value!"

Conference Materials
Conference materials are available in a three-ring binder for US$20.00. Presentation materials include a final participant list, final program, sponsor directory, exhibitor directory, and speaker PowerPoint presentations. If you would like a copy of the materials, please contact Anne Fiala at or (701) 777-3119.

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