To help Fredericksburg area residents learn more about wind-powered electrical generators, a public information event has been scheduled here for June 21 by the Gillespie County Economic Development Commission.
Scheduled from 9 a.m. until 12 noon that Thursday in the Hangar Hotel Conference Center, the three-hour session will feature a presentation by Terry Argotsinger, accredited farm manager and accredited rural appraiser from Iowa.
Greg Snelgrove, EDC executive director, said the June 21 meeting is intended as a public education activity for any interested individuals, including landowners, who want to learn more about the impact of wind-powered energy on land ownership.
Spurring local interest in wind-powered generation has been the possibility that a “wind park” might be established across north-central Gillespie County.
Some landowners in that section of the county have reportedly already been contacted by representatives of a company called AES Wind Generation about the possibility of signing lease agreements to allow construction of large wind-generating towers on their individual properties as part of a larger wind park operation.
In addition, AES is reportedly engaged in the preliminary stage of studying whether or not the wind currents in that part of the county would make such a wind park practical.
Recommended for the June 21 seminar by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Argotsinger said yesterday that he plans to cover a variety of topics associated with wind power.
“The growth of the wind power industry in this country during 2006-2007 grew by as much as 25-30 percent,” said the Iowa resident who first became interested in renewable energy in 1999 when the nation’s most-powerful wind park was established near Storm Lake. His interests grew to investments in ethanol and biodiesel production, and he currently serves on the board of directors for the newly formed Raccoon Valley BioDiesel LLC.
Contacted by phone yesterday, Argotsinger said that the wind power industry in the U.S. is being driven by government incentives and “the will of the people.”
Argotsinger, who has conducted educational seminars over the past several years in Oklahoma, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, Washington and Texas, said that during his June 21 presentation here he will focus on three topics.
The first will be to help seminar participants get familiar with the actual workings of a wind tower and the mechanics of generating electrical power in that manner.
“We’ll also talk about county, state and federal impacts through legislative activity, including what Texas has on its books and in its codes,” he said.
And the third segment of the seminar will address the impact of wind parks on land ownership, including the present value of tower easements, the internal rate of return and land values subject to easements.
Argotsinger explained that within the past year Texas became the No. 1 wind-power generating state in the nation, with utility and transmission interests playing a large role in influencing wind energy development in the state.
He said that, while it takes only about a year to plan, develop and build a wind park (including only about 90 days to erect a wind tower), it takes five years of lead time to put up transmission lines in order to serve those wind parks.
Helping to drive interest in generating wind-powered electrical generation in Texas, Argotsinger said, is that the state anticipates a large population growth during the next 10 years.
6 June 2007
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