Press release from my friends (and yours!) at Dakota Rural Action, Plains Justice, and the Center for Rural Affairs:
How Can South Dakota Increase Local Ownership of Renewable Energy?
Find out at Renewable Energy Discussion in Brookings, March 5
WHO: Wind-energy experts Duane Ninneman, Paul Blackburn, and Pat Spears
WHAT: Presentation and Q&A period about increasing local ownership of wind energy in South Dakota.
WHEN: Friday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Rotunda for Arts & Sciences Building, Room A, Rotunda Lane South, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD
Three speakers say that increasing local ownership is key to developing more renewable energy in South Dakota.
Duane Ninneman, Paul Blackburn, and Pat Spears will discuss local ownership of renewable energy developments at a free presentation March 5 at 6:30 p.m.
“University studies have shown that local ownership of wind energy provides several times the economic benefits to local communities that outside corporate ownership does,” said Duane Ninneman, owner of Sage Research and Consulting.
“Most people want wind energy to be developed, but there can be community conflicts when it starts to actually happen. When wind energy projects are owned locally instead of by outside companies, many of the social conflicts associated with wind energy can decrease,” said Paul Blackburn, a staff attorney with Plains Justice.
“Indian tribes are working hard to get wind power on their reservations, bringing economic justice and helping lift families out of poverty,” said Pat Spears, president of the Intertribal Council On Utility Policy. “Increasing South Dakota’s supply of clean energy helps everyone, and tribes are looking for opportunities to add wind energy to rural, municipal, and the federal grid,” he added.
The speakers will be introduced by Meredith Redlin, Professor of Rural Sociology at South Dakota State University.
The Brookings meeting is part of a series of energy meetings being held throughout South Dakota in February and March. The meetings are a joint project of the Center for Rural Affairs, Dakota Rural Action, Intertribal Council On Utility Policy, and Plains Justice.
As the owner of Sage Research and Consulting, Duane Ninneman specializes in renewable energy research, energy policy, and rural community development. In his work he advocates for a progressive energy agenda as a smart way to create and support thriving rural communities, often advising legislators and national leaders about the importance of serving rural community needs when making sweeping energy decisions. Duane lives in rural Big Stone County, Minnesota where his family has lived for eight generations.
Paul Blackburn is a staff attorney for Plains Justice, a Great Plains public-interest law center defending the right to environmental justice and a sustainable economy through community partnerships. He is the former Executive Director of the Community-Based Energy Development Initiative in Minnesota and has worked as a policy analyst for Windustry. Originally from Iowa, Paul has helped found and participated in a number of alternative energy, transportation and conservation organizations and campaigns across the U.S. Paul is based in Vermillion, SD.
Pat Spears is president of the Intertribal Council On Utility Policy, headquartered on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation. Organized in 1994, Intertribal COUP provides a tribal forum for policy issues dealing with telecommunications and energy utility operations and services, while strongly adhering to the pr6inciples of tribal self-determination and ecological sustainability, supporting the development of sustainable homeland economies built upon renewable energy resources. In 2007, Intertribal COUP was awarded the World Clean Energy’s Award for Courage, due in part to their environmental justice wind power development plan.