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Wind energy group unsure of state's future plans

Wind Energy Systems Technology, headquatered in New Iberia, recently ad-dressed the Louisiana Public Service Commission regarding its desire to expand wind-gathering operations to the Louisiana Coast. Harold Schoeffler, of Lafayette and W.E.S.T. partner , said the group left the meeting with more questions then answers. ...Schoeffler said the Public Service Commission has transferred renewable energy to the state Department of Natural Resources.

Wind Energy Systems Technology, headquatered in New Iberia, recently ad-dressed the Louisiana Public Service Commission regarding its desire to expand wind-gathering operations to the Louisiana Coast.

Harold Schoeffler, of Lafayette and W.E.S.T. partner , said the group left the meeting with more questions then answers.

The group has begun operations in Texas, where they have been successful in acquiring 18 square miles of leases, nine miles off the coast of Galveston Island. They remain optimistic about future ventures in Louisiana.
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"We have data from May of 2005 showing winds in Vermilion Bay at 20 mph," he said. "Our data from Galveston shows 15 mph winds and that difference is significant."

Schoeffler said the Public Service Commission has transferred renewable energy to the state Department of Natural Resources.

"For this department to take on the role of dealing with renewable energy is almost like passing the buck and makes for an interesting situation." he said.

Schoeffler said the Public Service Commission did say if communities in the state were interested in utilizing these alternative sources they would not regulate the projects.

Phyllis... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Wind Energy Systems Technology, headquatered in New Iberia, recently ad-dressed the Louisiana Public Service Commission regarding its desire to expand wind-gathering operations to the Louisiana Coast.

Harold Schoeffler, of Lafayette and W.E.S.T. partner , said the group left the meeting with more questions then answers.

The group has begun operations in Texas, where they have been successful in acquiring 18 square miles of leases, nine miles off the coast of Galveston Island. They remain optimistic about future ventures in Louisiana.
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"We have data from May of 2005 showing winds in Vermilion Bay at 20 mph," he said. "Our data from Galveston shows 15 mph winds and that difference is significant."

Schoeffler said the Public Service Commission has transferred renewable energy to the state Department of Natural Resources.

"For this department to take on the role of dealing with renewable energy is almost like passing the buck and makes for an interesting situation." he said.

Schoeffler said the Public Service Commission did say if communities in the state were interested in utilizing these alternative sources they would not regulate the projects.

Phyllis Darensbourg, public relations from the DNR, said the Public Service Commission will not get involved in the regulatory side until there is production and if and when production generates energy the proprietor wants to sell to utility companies for a profit.

Darensbourg said companies wanting to get into the business of wind energy will be required by the state agency to purchase leases if it is state property or water bottoms just like with oil and gas exploration.

The lack of understanding of the technology's potential is also a big problem, Schoeffler said.

"When the public begins to understand these opportunities and what they have to gain from them, they will lead the politicians around by the nose," he said.

"The issue is whether Louisiana is going to join the 21st century and deal with energy. We are already a major energy state with oil and gas, this could be one more opportunity for us to remain a major player in the energy game."

W.E.S.T. is investigating wind opportunities near Fourchon and Venice in waters offshore and are in the process of applying for permits from the state.


Source: http://www.iberianet.com/ar...

AUG 25 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/16736-wind-energy-group-unsure-of-state-s-future-plans
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