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OED > Newsroom > WIndiana 2008 - June 17-18 - Indianapolis WIndiana 2008 - June 17-18 - Indianapolis

Conference Notes and Presentations

Tuesday, June 17


8:15–9:00 a.m. Opportunities for Wind Power in Indiana — Larry Flowers, National Perspective



Larry Flowers has held various management positions at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the past 27 years. Since 1990, he has been a team leader at NREL’s National Wind Technology Center in Boulder, Colorado. His current assignment is the National Technical Director of Wind Powering America, a U.S. Department of Energy program launched in 1999 to dramatically increase the deployment of wind in the United States. WPA focuses on states and institutions that have dramatically underutilized their wind resources. Prior to WPA, Mr. Flowers led NREL’s international Village Power program and the NWTC’s hybrid systems technology project and was involved with
NREL’s business development, buildings sciences, utility systems, solar thermal, and industrial applications. He has an MBA from the University of Denver and a BS in metallurgical engineering and materials sciences from Lehigh University. He enjoys fly-fishing and whitewater rafting in the



9:00-9:30 a.m. Indiana’s Electricity Landscape — Doug Gotham, Utility Forecasting


10:00–Noon Benton Country Wind Farm — Tips for a Successful Project

Moderator: James Gucinski, Facilitator, Indiana Wind Working Group

Joan Wealing, Planning Commission

Joan Wealing is a member and past president of the Benton County Advisory Plan Commission.She sits on the subcommittee for development of Wind Energy Conversion ordinances and the subcommittee for drafting of the Benton County Comprehensive Plan, as well as the Board of Zoning Appeals. Wealing also served as past president of the Benton County Local Economic Development Organization. Wealing is an assistant professor of Computer Information Systems at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana and she teaches and develops online courses for computer technology, database design and management, and graphic animation. Wealing and her husband, own and operate a familyfarm.


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Bruce Buchanan, Local Government


Bryan Berry, Landowner

Dan Runyan, Developer

James Lefeld, Utility

James Lefeld has been with Duke Energy for over thirty-two years, with fifteen of those years of experience in new technology integration and business development. He participated on Duke Energy Indiana’s team that led to the successful sourcing of the State of Indiana’s first utility scale Wind project, the 100 MW Benton County Indiana Wind Farm, introduction of GoGreen Power programs and ten high visibility solar demonstration projects in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Areas of technical and business experience include: wind, solar and biomass power generation, end-use energy efficiency technologies, broadband over power line (BPL), stationary fuel cell power plants, advanced metering, microturbines, emission control equipment, high speed flywheel energy storage, distribution system automation and power quality. Education background: Bachelor of Science –business; Master of Business Administration; Certified Management Accountant.



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Mary E. Solada, Legal

Mary Solada is experienced in all aspects of real estate development, zoning and planning law, as well as government services. She is a 1982 graduate of the Indiana University School of Law and was admitted to the Indiana Bar that same year. She earned her undergraduate degree from Indiana University in 1978. She serves as the Chair of the Firm’s Real Estate Department. Mary routinely represents private sector and government entity clients in a wide range of areas ranging from real estate acquisition and redevelopment to procurement and land use. She has extensive experience representing developers of office, industrial and retail projects. She also served as General Counsel for the Capital Improvement Board of Managers of Marion County, Indiana. She provided legal counsel relative to the development of Conseco Fieldhouse, Victory Field and provides counsel regarding operational and strategic issues for the Indiana Convention Center. Mary Solada is an attorney with Bingham McHale. Her areas of practice are real estate and zoning and planning law; contract law; and governmental affairs.


1:30–3:00 p.m. A Rural Agriculture Perspective on Economic Development

Moderator: Paul Cummings

Gina Sheets, Economic Development Officer

Gina Sheets spent about seven years in her early adult life in California, graduating from Stanislaus State University in Business Administration and working as a buyer for a large department store. She is also a graduate of the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma. Sheets has lived the other thirty one years in Clinton County Indiana. She and her husband Travis live on a small farm north of Frankfort. They raise Scottish Highland cattle, pasture poultry, eggs, trout, and catfish. Travis is a full time missionary with World Mission Builders. Besides natural farming, they own several investment properties, hold an exotic animal license and operate a landscaping business.  Travis and Gina were named the 2006 Clinton County Citizens of the Year. Gina’s other career title is that of Director of Clinton County Economic Development and CEO of the Clinton County Chamber. Sheets has spent the past three years working closely on Clinton County’s waste to energy initiatives and defining future Quadra projects. In addition to working with major industrial corporations, Sheets teaches small business development classes and has worked with many small business owners building and updating their business plans. Prior to her Chamber service Sheets served six years as the Clinton County Auditor. In her spare time Sheets serves on multiple community and State committees and is an ultra runner who enjoys traveling across the country to run on new trails.

Steve Aker, White Construction

Steve Aker has been with White Construction, Inc. for almost 20 years. Aker graduated from DePauw University (1978). He resides on a farm in southern Putnam County, Indiana. White Construction, Inc. has installed just under 2,000 MW of commercial wind generation as of this date.




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Jesse Kharbanda, Indiana Coalition for Renewable Energy

Jesse Kharbanda is the executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, the state’s largest environmental organization. He comes to HEC from the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) in Chicago. At ELPC he helped build support among agricultural, clean energy and economic development organizations throughout the Midwest to support provisions in the Federal Energy and Federal Farm Bills. He helped craft rural-focused clean energy legislation and wrote briefs on a variety of environmental policy issues. Kharbanda has a graduate degree in development economics
from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and undergraduate degrees in economics and environmental studies from the University of Chicago.


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Martin Culik, Horizon project manager

Martin Culik joined Horizon in June 2005 as project manager in Bloomington, Illinois. Culik’s responsibilities include many aspects of development of projects, moving them from the project identification phase through financial closing and the start of construction. Culik worked as a consultant for Horizon from March until May 2005. From 1993 to 2005, he served as executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, a community-based educational organization affiliated with Cornell University. He also served as Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Leader for Cornell Cooperative Extension from 1987 to 1993. Culik’s work with extension focused on public policy education and community development, as well as farmland protection and agricultural issues. Culik has a Master of Science degree in agronomy from the University of Nebraska and a Bachelor of Science degree in plant science from the University of Delaware.

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Andrew Fenning, Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs


Andrew Fennig serves as a project manager in the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). In this role, Fennig works with rural communities to encourage entrepreneurship and support initiatives that enhance community capacity. He was also involved in the design and implementation of the Indiana HomeTown Competitiveness Program. Growing up on his family’s farm on the outskirts of Bryant, Indiana, Fennig has a clear understanding of the numerous challenges and profound rewards associated with rural life. Although most of his life has been spent in rural Indiana, he has also lived and worked in Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and London, England. Fennig currently resides in Zionsville, Indiana, with his wife, Kristen, and their newborn daughter.



3:15–4:30 p.m. Transmission and Siting — Technical and Legal Issues

Moderator: Mitch Van Cleave, Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor


Eric Laverty, Midwest ISO

Eric Laverty, senior manager of Transmission Access Planning, is responsible for the Transmission Service and Generator Interconnection queues. averty first joined the Midwest ISO as a senior engineer in the Transmission Expansion Planning department. Over the last five years he has been esponsible for performing calculations on the Loss Matrix and helping to build the processes used for Transmission Service Request and interconnection Request evaluations, working with Ron Arness and Jerry Fohey, respectively. Later he was full-time on the Generator interconnection processes, becoming the technical lead in that group in the summer of 2003. In an October 2004 re-organization effort, he became the manager of the Transmission Service Planning group, responsible for the TSR queue. At the end of 2006, the Interconnection and Transmission Service groups merged, with Laverty leading the combined team. Laverty came to the Midwest ISO from Detroit Edison, where he served as an engineer for four and half years prior to joining the Midwest ISO, the majority of time spent in Detroit’s Transmission
Planning department.

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Karen Tyrell, BHE Environmental

Karen Tyrell has designed and implemented projects addressing environmental siting and compliance needs of both commercial developers and government organizations for the past 20 years. Tyrell’s work centers on integrating land-use planning and predictive impact analysis to evaluate, manage, and resolve environmental conflicts in ways compatible with project goals. Much of this work is driven by the need to address a variety of environmental regulations, while keeping the project outcome firmly in sight. Tyrell has extensive experience with agency scoping that occurs early in project development, and project coordination throughout all phases of environmental assessment and monitoring. As national interest in wind power has grown, Dr. Tyrell has completed critical issues analyses, provided a range of environmental support studies, and served as an expert witness for the development of wind energy  acilities in the Midwest and northeast US, where she specializes in wildlife impact analyses and regulatory permit compliance. Tyrell received her doctorate degree from the University of Illinois, and is BHE’s Senior Vice President for Business Development. Tyrell serves on a US Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species Service Recovery Team, and a number of industry advisory committees addressing environmental effects of utility-grade wind power facilities. Previously Tyrell was on the faculty of two major universities, and has developed training courses for a number of federal environmental and regulatory programs.

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Download Siting Timeline

John Bruck, BHE Environmental

John Bruck is the founder and president of BHE Environmental, Inc. He is an engineer and manager who received his engineering degree from Purdue University and has received additional training from Vanderbilt and Xavier Universities and Harvard Business School. Most recently, he has been trained in the use of WindPro, the wind energy computer modeling application used around the world in planning and designing wind farms. He has over 30 years of work experience in defining environmental features and conditions of projects and creating effective environmental solutions. He has worked in a variety of program areas and media, with an emphasis on addressing the environmental impacts of fossil fuel, electric, and steam utility systems. Since forming BHE in 1988, Bruck has managed or provideddirect technical support to over 2000 projects. Bruck provides technical and management support to BHE’s wind energy clients by utilizing project-specific digital information to conduct site layout studies including wind resource assessments, visual impact assessments addressing viewshed analyses, shadow-flicker calculations, and photo-simulations, and noise analyses.

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Download Siting Timeline

Marline Breece, Attorney at Law

Marline Breece is a native of Northwest Indiana and holds degrees from both Purdue and Indiana Universities. She graduated in 1979 from Purdue with a Bachelor of Science degree in Atmospheric Science. In 1991, she received her juris doctorate from the Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis. Upon graduation from Purdue, Breecee joined the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency where she worked on projects related to ozone and air pollution control, modeling power plant emissions.She left the Agency to join Indianapolis Power & Light Company’s Environmental Engineering group where she spent nine years ensuring the Company’s power plants complied with all local, state and federal air pollution control regulations. Over the next twelve years, she held various positions with the Company working on several projects in the Rates & Regulations and Human Resources areas. After graduating from law school, Breece moved to the legal department, focusing on the Company’s wholesale electric business, various power purchase and sale transactions and generator and transmission interconnection agreements. In 2001, Breece took the inaugural position of staff counsel for the Indiana Municipal Power Agency, a wholesale supplier to municipal electric systems in Indiana. Her work focused on corporate matters, joint operating agreements and the development of regional electric transmission organizations such as the Midwest ISO. She continued her work in the field of wholesale power and transmission as an attorney with Baker & Daniels and now as a solo practitioner. She currently represents public utilities and wind energy developers on matters related to the Midwest ISO and the interconnection of electric generating facilities to the Transmission grid. Breece and her family reside in Brownsburg, Indiana.

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