URI to host South County Wind Forum, March 7

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Event includes bus tour of Portsmouth wind projects

KINGSTON, R.I. — February 24, 2009 – A forum to educate South County residents and decision makers about successful wind energy projects and issues in siting and financing will be held at the University of Rhode Island on Saturday, Mar. 7.

The South County Wind Forum will include a morning workshop from 8:30 to 11:30 am in the Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences on the URI Kingston campus, followed by an optional bus tour of the Portsmouth Abbey and Portsmouth High School wind turbines on Aquidneck Island from 11:45 an to 3 pm. The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.

Speakers at the morning session will include W. Michael Sullivan, director of the R.I. Department of Environmental Management; Julian Dash, renewable energy director for the R.I. Economic Development Corp.; Sam DeBow, director of the URI Center for Offshore Renewable Energy; Gary Gump and Rich Talipsky from the Portsmouth Town Wind Turbine Generator Project; Tom Wineman, principal of Clean Energy Design; and Ken Payne, URI associate research professor.

The afternoon tour of the Portsmouth wind turbines will be hosted by Brother Joseph of the Portsmouth Abbey School and members of the Portsmouth Sustainable Energy Committee.

“Many Rhode Islanders know of Brother Joseph and the committee for their work envisioning and implementing the two successful wind projects in Portsmouth,” said Marion Gold, director of the URI Energy Center and one of the organizers of the forum. “The tour will give insight into how a project moves from concept to implementation while providing the invaluable opportunity to see the towering turbines up close.”

One goal of the forum is to solicit participants for the Southern Rhode Island Sustainable Energy Working Group. Prospective members should be interested in sustainable energy and be willing to participate in the coordination and implementation of projects in South County.

The forum is organized by the Washington County Regional Planning Council, the URI Energy Center, and the South Kingstown Conservation Commission.

Registration for the event includes bus transportation to the Portsmouth Abbey School and a complimentary brown bag lunch. For more information or to register, contact Rachel Sholly at 401-874-5558 or rachel.sholly@gmail.com. Seating is limited.