Purdue to host community listening session

WEST LAFAYETTE- The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has selected Purdue Extension to co-host one of the three to five community listening sessions in the U.S. on the end-of-service activities in wind-energy development. The session will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. Feb. 22 at the White County Fairgrounds, 12 N. 25 E., Reynolds, Indiana.

Wind turbines follow the bend of a waterway and a cornfield on a wind farm in north central Indiana. (Purdue Agricultural Communications photo)

Wind turbines are prevalent across the United States, providing an important source of renewable energy. These machines were built with the expectation to last about 30 years. However, the need for partial repowering within the first 10 years — through upgrading components of the turbines to newer, more efficient parts — has become common. There may be up to 9,000 wind turbine blade replacements nationally every year, and that number is expected to increase to a maximum of 20,000 per year by 2040.

White and Benton counties have the oldest commercial wind-energy developments in Indiana, created back in 2008 and 2009. The community listening session will allow communities like these to be heard. The NREL will use the content gathered from this session to inform research and educational resources supporting community-centered decision making about wind energy end-of-service activities.

Tamara Ogle, community development regional educator for Purdue Extension, says, “Purdue Extension has a long history of providing and connecting communities with the land-use-planning resources they need to make informed decisions. This community listening session is a great opportunity to continue that commitment.”

Networking opportunities and refreshments will be available before the session, from 5-5:30 p.m.

Leaders and residents with commercial wind development from communities across the Midwest are encouraged to attend this free event. Registration is appreciated and can be completed online or by calling the Purdue Extension White County office at 219-984-5115.

Writer/Media contact: Lindsey Berebitsky, lberebit@purdue.edu

Source: Tamara Ogle, togle@purdue.edu

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