This past Friday, December 21, 2001, Omaha Public Power District and Valmont Industries, headquartered in Valley, Nebraska dedicated a new 660kW Vesta wind turbine. The wind was blowing a good 25 miles per hour, generating some 500kW of electricity as a select group of dignitaries gathered at the foot of the 200 feet-tall turbine tower.
In addition to the governor, also present for the official switch-throwing was Mogen Bay, the chairman of Valmont, the world's largest builder of center pivot irrigation systems, Congressman Lee Terry and Fred Petersen, the chairman of the board for OPPD.
EV World was on hand to cover the dedication for a couple reasons. We were instrumental in getting OPPD to sponsor its PowerDrive electric vehicle competition, which in the last four years has grown from just 12 schools to more than 50 across the state. According to OPPD officials, PowerDrive has become on of the most successful public outreach programs in which the utility has participated.
EV World's editor was also on hand because he and two associates will be working closely with both OPPD and Valmont over the next year to develop a wind power forecasting system through a new endeavor he has co-founded called Microclimetrics.
After the dedication, EV World's editor explained to Valmont's Mogen Bay -- who introduces the governor in the video below -- that there appears to be natural symbiotic relationship between wind power and electric vehicles. Not only can wind-generated electricity - - or hydrogen - - power EVs, either battery or fuel cell, with pollution free energy, but the batteries on EVs can also serve a storage banks for intermittently-generated wind energy. The one can complement the other.
As happens on many remote location shots, the sound on this video leaves a much to be desired, but we think you'll find Governor Johanns' remarks interesting. You have your choice of either Real Player or QuickTime video formats.
Also below the video links we have reproduced the official prepared text of the governor's speech that he left out during his remarks.