New England Wind Energy Education Project Conference and Webinar Materials Available Online
January 14, 2013
From 2009 through 2011, the New England Wind Energy Education Project (NEWEEP), a project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Wind Powering America initiative under a 2-year grant, conducted a series of webinars and a conference and workshop designed to complement the New England Wind Forum website and newsletter as a source of objective information on wind energy issues in the New England region. NEWEEP's goal was to provide the public and wind siting decision-makers with objective information to allow informed decisions about proposed wind energy projects throughout the New England region. By collecting and disseminating accurate, objective, up-to-date information on critical wind energy issues impacting market acceptance of the hundreds of land-based and offshore wind development projects proposed in the region, NEWEEP sought to support good decision-making based on good information.
In June 2011, NEWEEP held a conference and workshop titled "Wind Energy in New England: Understanding the Issues Affecting Public Acceptance." In December 2011, NEWEEP conducted the last webinar under the DOE grant, "Wind Power as a Neighbor: Experience with Techniques for Mitigating Public Impact." Presentations and recordings of these proceedings and NEWEEP's other webinars are available on the NEWEEP Web page. Here is a recap of these two events.
New England Wind Energy Education Project Conference and Workshop, "Wind Energy in New England: Understanding the Issues Affecting Public Acceptance"
NEWEEP held a conference and workshop on June 7, 2011, in Marlborough, Massachusetts, to advance the public acceptance of well-sited wind projects in New England. The goal of the conference was to provide attendees with the most accurate and objective information available to help them make well-informed decisions as well as establish a dialogue to address the challenges of siting wind energy projects in New England. The event featured presentations, speakers, and discussion panels and gave participants the opportunity to voice their questions and concerns. The agenda included an overview of wind development in New England, breakout workshops, and information on topics and issues such as wind development impacts (environmental and human), wind power economics, best planning practices, offshore wind, mitigation techniques for public impacts, and reliability impacts. The more than 250 participants included local officials, facility siting decision-makers, policy-makers, and the general public. The conference was a Wind Powering America success story. Feedback from participant surveys indicated that attendees appreciated the real-world case studies, the open and respectful dialogue, and time for questions, as well as the opportunity to listen to a variety of credible speakers' points of view. Presentations from the conference can be accessed from the NEWEEP Conference Web page.
New England Wind Energy Education Project Webinar, "Wind Power as a Neighbor: Experience with Techniques for Mitigating Public Impact"
In addition to the conference, the New England Wind Forum hosted a webinar on December 7, 2011: "Wind Power as a Neighbor: Experience with Techniques for Mitigating Public Impacts: A NEWEEP Webinar." The webinar was the sixth in a series of free webinars funded by the DOE's Wind Powering America initiative.
The webinar consisted of a discussion of:
- Technical and non-technical approaches to minimize, eliminate, or compensate for direct or indirect impacts during the planning, construction, and operation of a wind power project
- Lessons learned on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of available mitigation techniques and how specific techniques helped produce better outcomes
- The process of negotiation to achieve public acceptance and what concessions communities should (and shouldn't) expect from project proponents
- The key to successful siting through balancing mitigation of impacts with project economic viability
- How current strategies fall short and additional research needed to fill the gaps.
Audio and text versions of the webinar are available.
All webinars are available on the NEWEEP webinar page.