Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sun Prairie's Wind Power Happy Hour Continues to Grow (City of Sun Prairie Office of Economic Development)

Photo: Steve Sletten from PBS&J and Jerry Murphy from the New North demonstrate a proven networking technique at the June Wind Power Happy Hour.

The Wind Power Happy Hour network of companies and partners continues to grow. The City has aggressively marketed the event to regional economic development partners around the State of Wisconsin, and has agreed to rotate the event to the Fox Cities and Milwaukee in addition to the Madison area (Thrive). This is being done in conjunction with the Wisconsin Wind Works Alliance. The June meeting was held in Wrightstown, Wisconsin at the Royal St. Patrick's Golf Course clubhouse, and featured guest presentations from Alliant Energy and Oshkosh based Renewegy. It is currently anticipated that the July meeting will be held in the Milwaukee area, with speakers and location yet to be announced.

In addition, the City of Sun Prairie Office of Economic Development agreed to "co-sponsor" the Wind Energy Speaking Series at the University of Wisconsin School of Business. This series of presentations scheduled for Fridays over the next several weeks in Room 5120 of Grainger Hall at the UW-Madison campus will feature several private sector companies involved in the wind industry from either a wind farm development standpoint or from that of a supplier in the wind industry supply chain. Our last presenter was Mr. Paul Schechter from Horizon Wind, who talked about his company's involvement in the development of wind farms and how they assess specific areas for wind turbine installation. Several additional speakers are scheduled for the month of July.

According to Neil Stechschulte, Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Sun Prairie, "In a little over a year, this initiative has been tremendously successful in developing a network for a sector that is obviously ready to grow. Our job is to continue to provide value to our participants, and eventually leverage our relationships with these companies to get them to build or expand here. There is still plenty of work to do before something like this can happen. We are are doing whatever we can to better position ourselves to be of assistance to interested employers in the wind industry supply chain." The event mailing list now exceeds 460 people. A blog with relevant news stories that averages 400 visits per month has also been created:


We also maintain a presence on LinkedIn.com, to allow for individuals interested in the wind industry further opportunity to network and to share news.

Anyone interested in more information on the Wind Power Happy Hour, the Wind Energy Speaker Series, or the Wisconsin Wind Works Alliance can contact Neil Stechschulte at (608) 825-0894 or nstechschulte[at]cityofsunprairie.com for more information.

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