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Will failure to pass state RES adversely affect efforts to attract renewable energy manufacturing investment in Indiana? April 28, 2009

Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.
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Dear Blog readers,

I received this as an e-mail follow-up to a telephone conversation I had earlier today with Doug Ahlfeld as I reported to him the progress of renewable energy legislation still pending during the 2009 session of the Indiana General Assembly. Many renewable energy advocates believe that we can and will get a better Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) passed by the U.S. Congress than the Indiana General Assembly. If we do not pass a state RES again it may have a negative impact on economic development efforts to recruit renewable energy industry investment in our state. We are hearing that those who make such business investment decisions want to see a committment to the renewable energy industry from the State of Indiana. Not only that but it may send the wrong signal to Sen. Evan Bayh as he prepares to vote on a federal RES as a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The committee vote on a federal RES is expected THIS WEEK.

Yes, the wind farms may continue to be developed within our state because we have the wind resources but some of that wind generated electricity may be transmitted to other states to help utilities meet RES requirements in other states. But what about the opportunities for renewable energy manufacturing investments here in Indiana? What are your thoughts?

Laura,

The Northeast Indiana Partnership, http://www.chooseneindiana.com. who serves an 11 county area of local economic development organizations, along with the Northeast Indiana Green Build Coalition and Indiana & Michigan Power held a very successful wind energy supply chain workshop at the Grand Wayne Convention Center in Fort Wayne this past week. Nearly 300 attendees learned of the potential for building components as the automotive industry continues to diminish area business. At least 60% of the attendees were in an automotive related business.

One of the outcomes from this workshop was the possibility of turbine manufacturers moving to the Northeast Indiana area to take advantage of our manufacturing capacity. I met personally with Mayor Henry, who would welcome such a diversity in manufacturing to this area. However, one of the drawbacks we hear from turbine manufacturers moving to Indiana is the lack of a consistent policy on wind. They want to move to a State who has a favorable policy which will promote their business. I know of two companies who are actively looking at Indiana. As I travel to Chicago next week for the National Wind Conference with some of the Northeast Indiana Partnership officiers, it would be a great advantage to us in our discussions with these turbine manufacturers to have that policy in hand before the legislation closes.

The number of jobs which could come to our area ranges from construction, to service, to manufacturing, to large truck hauling and all the other related businesses with new manufacturing. This would certainly be a vital link to bring a change in direction to our area economy.

I wish you well with your efforts in bringing jobs and wind to Indiana,

Doug Ahlfeld
Board of Directors, Northeast Indiana Green Build Coalition
Education Committee of the Indiana Wind Energy Workgroup
Office 260-693-9380
FAX 260-693-0797
Cell 260-437-1478

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