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Steve Chaplin
University Communications

Last modified: Friday, May 14, 2010

Workshop hosts say state's sustainable energy growth should equate to economic, educational windfalls

May 13, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Advancing wind energy research in Indiana will mean more opportunities for green energy growth in the state and for students interested in research and technology that is tied to the sustainable power source, according to two leading researchers on the issue who hosted a recent wind energy workshop at Indiana University.

Wind energy conference 2010

Photo by Jocelyn Bowie, College of Arts and Sciences

IU Provosts Professor Sara Pryor, far left, presents her research on the impact of climate variability on wind resources to a group of experts in wind energy research from academia, state government and industry during a workshop co-hosted by Indiana University and Purdue University.

Print-Quality Photo

Held on the heels of the Obama administration's April 27 announcement approving the nation's first offshore wind farm, the 130-turbine Cape Wind project off Cape Cod, two dozen representatives from Indiana academia, industry and government with an interest in wind energy research met last week on the Indiana University Bloomington campus for a workshop on the topic sponsored by IU and Purdue University.

The focus of the workshop, according to organizers Rebecca Barthelmie, an IU professor of atmospheric science and sustainability, and Douglas Adams, the Kenninger Professor of Renewable Energy and Power Systems at Purdue's School of Mechanical Engineering, was to identify and address research bottlenecks and to facilitate continued efficiency improvements in wind energy systems in the state.

"We are pleased to work with other universities, industry and local government to ensure that Indiana optimally benefits from the remarkable growth in green technology development," Barthelmie said. "Indiana has a unique partnership in wind energy that will benefit all sectors if we are able to provide a strong market for sustainably generated electricity."

Topics of discussion also included sector benefits to working in cooperation to provide new internships and educational opportunities, including broadening the number of educational institutions working on wind energy research.

"We aim to provide our students with exciting research and training opportunities that are relevant to the wind industry," Adams said. "By bringing scientists, engineers, economists, and wind energy companies together to address issues at the system level, universities in Indiana can play an important role in advancing the field."

Hosted in IU's new Multidisciplinary Science Building II on the Bloomington campus, the seminar also highlighted benefits being realized by the state from its current policy permitting 1,000 megawatts of installed capacity for landowners, high-tech employment, and business development. On a related topic, the participants agreed to work with the existing Indiana Wind Working Group operated from within the Indiana Office of Energy Development.

For more information, please contact Steve Chaplin, University Communications, at 812-856-1896 or