Woodward and Northwest Oklahoma were well represented at AWEA's WINDPOWER 2015 Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, FL, May 18 - 21. High Plains Technology Center representatives included: Dwight Hughes, Superintendent; Taylor Burnett, Assistant Superintendent; and Bronson Ellis, Safety Coordinator. LaVern Phillips, President of the Woodward Industrial Foundation, also attended the conference.
The WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition is the place for networking with wind industry professionals, showcasing quality products and services, and becoming educated on the latest in the U.S. wind energy market. Each year the conference gathers more than 8,000 wind energy professionals for three days of seminars, covering a full range of topics, from the basics of wind power to in-depth discussions of technology, regulatory and policy issues, market developments, environmental issues and project financing. WINDPOWER's Exhibition features over 100 companies showcasing the latest in technology products, and services. The Conference and Education Department offers a wide variety of workshops and seminars throughout the year. These programs provide in-depth knowledge of the issues affecting the wind industry.
High Plains Technology Center (HPTC) and the Woodward Industrial Foundation headquartered out of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce Booth promoting the benefits of locating wind farms in Oklahoma, the pro-business atmosphere, and the best incentive package in the nation. The State Commerce Department features Woodward as a strategic location for wind energy. Check out the Oklahoma Wind Energy Brochure.
HPTC is recognized for having one of the premier Renewable Energy Technician Programs in the nation. Dedicated in June of 2014, the school's new Energy Training Center houses the only safety climbing tower in the state, and HPTC is perhaps the only school in the nation to have such a facility. Click here to view the High Plains Technology Center Wind Training Brochure (pdf).
At this year's conference, Siemens announced a new turbine, the SWT2.3-120, a 2.3 MW unit with a 120-m diameter rotor. The turbine is qualified for altitudes to 2,000m and temperatures up to 40°C. The gearbox is a version similar to that used in the company's 3 MW series, sporting two planetary sections and one helical section. The blades were designed in Boulder, CO and are said to be aeroelastically tailored (quieter) and will be manufactured in Iowa. Meanwhile, the nacelle will be built in the Siemens plant in Kansas. Wind Energy is bringing manufacturing jobs back to America...
The Woodward Industrial Foundation hosted a reception and dinner in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Southern Plains Range Research Station on September 3, 2014. Working closely with the Oklahoma Congressional delegation, the Foundation has been instrumental in securing additional funding for the new Research Laboratory, new administration offices, and recurring financial resources in support of the research effort of the facility.
Congressman Frank Lucas was the keynote speaker and a response was given by the Acting Area Director, Dr. Larry Chandler, USDA, ARS, NPA, Ft. Collins, Colorado. Everyone at the event was excited about the growth potential and continued development of this world class research facility.
Via Woodward News:
Wind whipped tall grass and made it clap its hands as interested landowners, Woodward residents and those who simply want to know more about what is going on with all those grass plots followed tour guides at the USDA Southern Plains Range Research Station Thursday.
Crowds gathered for a late summer hay ride/tour of the research plots and heard talks on emerging forage science. The field day was part of the 100th years celebration of the existence of the first research station established here in late 1913.
Check out a recent video special on the SPRRS:
Business, industry and community leaders joined High Plains Technology Center in dedicating the school's newest addition during a reception Friday, June 6.
HPTC Superintendent Dwight Hughes said the school's new Energy Training Center (ETC) is "not only a great addition to High Plains, but also a great addition to Northwest Oklahoma and to the whole state of Oklahoma and even the United States."
That's because the new ETC building houses the only indoor energy climbing towers in the state and High Plains is perhaps the only school in the country to have such a facility, Hughes said.
In addition to 2 climbing towers, the new building also includes an equipment storage room, offices, classrooms, a meeting room, and a large open garage area.
Two Oklahoma towns, Weatherford and Woodward, were named among the country’s 10 fastest-growing areas between 2012 and 2013, according to census data. A continued economic upswing in the state has fueled population increases in the Oklahoma City metro and has turned two western Oklahoma towns into some of the fastest-growing in the country.
Both towns saw population increases of more than 3 percent from July 2012 to July 2013, continuing a trend that began four years ago. Since 2010, the populations of Woodward and Weatherford have increased each year, according to census data.
The towns joined several other Great Plains cities on the list, a fact census researchers attribute to the boom of oil and natural gas drilling in the area.
However, unlike in western Oklahoma, oil and gas growth may not be the driving factor in population increases for the Oklahoma City area during the past two years. Other industries, like tourism, retail and construction, are the fastest growing right now, he said.
2013 has been a prosperous year for Northwestern Oklahoma.
Voters approved a half-cent sales tax in Febuary that will make dramatic improvements to the Woodward Fairgrounds, including a new 60,000 square foot expo center.
In August, city voters approved a pair of sales tax measures that will fund a new fire station and improve roads.
Voters in October overwhelmingly voted to pass a $29 school bond issue that promises to provide safe rooms, secure all campuses, update transportation, provide room for a growing enrollment and bring the district in line with technology.
"It signals an affirmation that our citizens agree with the direction we're moving", said City Manager Alan Riffel.