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Iowa Lakes wind program continues to get attention

December 30, 2011
Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

Editor's Note: Following is one of what we believe to be one of the top 10 stories in Emmet County for 2011 - the continued growth of the Iowa Lakes Community College wind turbine and energy technology program and its role in providing quality employees to the wind energy industry.

The Iowa Lakes Wind Turbine and Energy Technology program saw its numbers spike two years ago after a Duracell battery commercial aired nationally, drawing attention to the program.

For the second time in two years, a film crew was at the Iowa Lakes Community College wind energy and turbine technology program in Estherville in November, this time to film an online marketing video.

Article Photos

Iowa Lakes Community College wind turbine and energy technology program instructor Craig Evert at the turbine where filming took place last month. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

While the clients' identities can't be disclosed due to marketing confidentiality, John De Blas Williams, Fifty Films producer, said an advertising agency had contacted his Salt Lake City firm about producing a U-Tube business-to-business video. The video features information broadcast digitally from the Iowa Lakes Community College wind turbine to Lost Lake Wind Farm, a longstanding Iowa Lakes partner. Lost Lakes was to be paid a $1,000 site fee for its role in the production, but allowed Fifty Films to donate the money on its behalf to the wind program.

Williams said a crew of 15-20 is working on the video which will go on the Web sometime in December. Filming started Monday and was expected to conclude Tuesday night.

Craig Evert, instructor in the college wind turbine and energy technology program, said four students from the graduating class in 2009 went to work for Lost Lakes and one former student, Mike Engleman, now a Lost Lakes employee, was an actor in the filming along with fellow employee Taylor Karas. The Iowa Lakes wind program has provided five technicians - more than half - for the Lost Lake project, said Ross Paznokas, site manager.

"They're (Lost Lakes) a great industry partner," Evert said. "We try to do the same." Evert said the program has taken students to Lost Lakes to review their safety process.

"The students really saw what we're talking about in class is what they're really going to see," Evert said.

"You don't get everything done without the right kind of partnerships," said Dan Lutat, Iowa Lakes wind program director.



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