November 07, 2008

Discussion will focus on future of wind power

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A panel of experts will discuss harnessing the power that rustles the autumn leaves during a discussion later this month organized by Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Coal Research Center and a regional economic development group.

The event, titled “Wind Power in Southern Illinois,” is set for Monday, Nov. 17, in the Tarvin and Crisp rooms at John A. Logan College, Carterville. The night begins with registration and refreshments at 5:30 p.m., followed by a featured speaker at 6 p.m., a panel discussion and a question-answer period.

The event also is available via teleconference in the Education Center at Shawnee Community College in Ullin and the Carmi Center at Southeastern Illinois College, Harrisburg.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the event. Contact the SIUC Coal Research Center at 618/536-5521 for more information.

The event is the latest in a series of discussions organized by the University and Connect SI, a local organization aimed at connecting public and private resources to create a sustainable and globally competitive economy.

The energy discussion sessions, which began last fall, are aimed at lay people, elected leaders, educators and business people who want to deepen their understanding of evolving energy technologies, said John S. Mead, director of the Coal Extraction and Utilization Research Center at SIUC.

Previous discussion series topics included coal mining, alternative fuels, coal gasification and others. Mead said wind energy might have a role in the area’s power supply, too.

"Wind energy has become a high-profile power generation alternative,” Mead said. “We want to explore how Southern Illinois may fit into this picture.”

The event will feature conversations with wind energy experts as they explore the energy resources available for the future of Southern Illinois. It is free and open to the public but there is limited seating. Organizers encourage pre-registration.

Brock W. Terry, of Western Illinois University’s Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, is the featured speaker for the event. He will give a presentation on wind maps and how they play into the power generation picture.

Following Terry’s talk, a panel will take up the issue. Panelists include:

• Jeffrey Nemeth, research associate, Western Illinois University’s Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs, discussing “Encompassing Zoning Models.”

• Justin Harrell, electrical engineer, SIUC Plant and Service Operations, who will present “Evaluating Wind Power Sites.”

• Brian Cuffle, key account executive, Ameren Co., who will discuss “Interfacing with a Utility.”

A question-answer and open discussion with panelists and the audience will close the night at 8 p.m.

To pre-register, contact Man-Tra-Con Corp. at 618/998-0970, ext. 215; by fax at 618/998-1291, attention: Tammy Kirk; or by email at You can also write to Man-Tra-Con Corp at 3000 W. DeYoung St., Suite 800-B, Marion, Ill., 62959.