Kansas Wind Energy 2002 will be held in Lawrence, Kansas, on October 1-2, 2002. Expecting large participation, the conference is a third in a series sponsored by the Kansas Corporation Commission’s (KCC) Energy Programs and Department. of Energy’s Wind Powering America. Kansas recently being touted as the number one state by a new study (US PRIG, Feb. 2002) for potential wind resources, along with a lucrative property tax exemption, has made the state a hotbed of activity, according to Jim Ploger, Manager of Energy Programs at the KCC.
“The potential of a billion dollars worth of wind development over the next decade has really stirred up interest on all fronts,” Ploger said. “This includes agricultural, economic development, environmental groups and organizations, and the utility industry.”
The Tuesday meeting (Oct. 1) will kick-off at 1 pm and will be devoted to small (farm/residential) wind and solar systems. Representatives from DOE and USDA will discuss federal activities and leading manufacturers will discuss state-of-the art wind and solar systems. Next interconnect issues will be addressed, state policies around the U.S. and finally a panel with Kansas legislative representatives.
The second full day of the meeting (Oct. 2) will focus on commercial wind farm development in the state. Sessions planned include overviews from federal representatives followed by breakout sessions on transmission issues, landowner/lease issues and economic development. In the afternoon, discussions on environmental issues in the tallgrass area of the Flint Hillls and major wind developers showcasing their companies are being planned.
An active Kansas Renewable Energy Working Group (KREWG) has been formed to focus on renewable energy issues, especially wind, according to Ploger. The ad hoc, non-profit, non-partisan organization was formed this summer to bring together interested parties to address common interests and concerns. KREWG will also meet in conjunction with the Conference on the morning of Oct. 1.