Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Future of Global Wind Energy to be the Focus of Olan Kruse Lecture Feb. 24

KINGSVILLE - February 17, 2010

Contact: Adriana Garza
adriana.garza@tamuk.edu or 361.593.4979

Just a few miles south of Kingsville, on the Kennedy Ranch, stands one of  the newest attempts to harness renewable wind energy in Texas. The Penescal Wind Farm in Sarita is a 202 megawatt facility that began generating energy in April 2009. The search for renewable energy such as the wind energy generated by the Penescal Wind Farm has emerged as a global concern in recent years.

 Wind energy, one of the fastest growing forms of renewable energy, is the subject of this year’s Olan Kruse Lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, in Hill Hall, room 119. The featured speaker is Dr. Vaughn Nelson, a wind researcher with more than 35 years experience in wind resource assessment, education and training. The public is invited to the free lecture.

Parking is available behind the Memorial Student Union Building, on the corner of Santa Gertrudis Avenue and University Boulevard. Hill Hall is the aluminum-domed building adjacent to the parking lot.

Currently the world’s wind energy capacity is about 160,000 megawatts, with the United States at about 35,000 megawatts and Texas, the most of any state, at more than 9,000 megawatts. With the wind energy industry projected to grow in the next few years, Texas could have a wind energy capacity of nearly 22,000 megawatts by 2015 and global wind energy capacity could increase to 580,000 megawatts in the next 20 years.

Nelson, who served as a consultant for the Penescal Wind Farm project, currently serves as the director of the Alternative Energy Institute. He holds a bachelor’s of science in education from Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia; a master’s of education from Harvard; and a doctorate in physics from the University of Kansas. Nelson has authored four books and published more than 50 articles that primarily focus on wind research. In 2003 he earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Wind Energy Association.

The Olan Kruse Lecture Series Endowment Fund was established in 2003 for the purpose of bringing distinguished physicists to Texas A&M-Kingsville to make presentations on current events in physics and astronomy.

For more information on the 2009 Olan Kruse Lecture, call 361-593-2624.

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