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‘Green energy’ topic of Muncie forum September 30, 2009

Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.
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September 27, 2009

The impact of the alternative energy industry
on Muncie is the subject of a Wednesday session.

By KEITH ROYSDON, The Star Press, kroysdon@muncie.gannett.com

MUNCIE — With green energy companies taking root in Delaware County, what’s the future of the industry in Muncie?

A forum on Wednesday evening will explore “Community Readiness for Alternative Energy.”

The forum, set for 5-7 p.m. Wednesday at the Ball State University Alumni Center, is sponsored by Ball State’s Miller College of Business and The Star Press.

“We talk about alternative energy a lot, but I hope this forum will give a perspective on local issues,” said Michael Hicks, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State. “This is not what’s happening in China or Massachusetts, but what’s happening in Delaware County and East Central Indiana, what we’re doing at the local level to take advantage of what I think, and most analysts think, could be growth in wind energy.”

Panelists for the forum are state Sen. Sue Errington (D-Muncie); Terry Murphy of the Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance; Roy Budd, executive director of Energize-ECI; and Greg Winkler, director of project development for Brevini Wind.

Brevini Wind, an offshoot of Italian gearbox maker Brevini, has begun construction on a plant to make gearboxes for energy-generating wind turbines at Park One/332 in western Delaware County. Brevini Wind will employ 450 people by 2011.

Park One is also home to VAT, a German company that will make wind-and-solar-powered street lights and vertical wind vanes. VAT will employ more than 100 people by 2011.

Winkler said he hoped Wednesday’s forum would see discussion of “what about green energy makes sense at this point, what needs to change, what needs to happen and what policy pieces are in place. It’ll be an interesting exploration.”

Murphy said he believed the forum would provide insight for the community.

“We need to build on what we already have, but we need to showcase that we’re the headquarters for Brevini and VAT. And with VAT, we’re already implementing some of that green technology in that we’ll be installing wind-and-solar-powered street lights and a vertical vane windmill.”

Murphy said he also hoped for community recognition of Ball State’s geothermal energy project.

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