|OCTOBER 6 & 7, 2009 RAMADA INN TOPEKA, KANSAS|
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Governor's Energy Achievement Recognition Awards
Governor Mark Parkinson presented the Governor's Energy Achievement Recognition Awards this morning at the 2009 Kansas Wind and Renewable Energy Conference. The awards, given annually, recognize leadership and accomplishment in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
"It is inspiring to witness Kansans taking the initiative to capture our state's renewable energy potential," said Parkinson. "These award winners understand the economic and environmental benefits of investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and I thank them for their leadership."
Recipients of the 2009 Governor's Energy Achievement Awards:
Non-Profit Renewable Energy
Climate and Energy Project
The Climate and Energy Project (CEP) can be given credit for much of the increase in public awareness on renewable energy benefits in Kansas. Through education, grass-roots organization, and political engagement, CEP has helped educate the public and influence legislation that has resulted in the promotion of renewable energy in Kansas. Two of CEP's major contributions to energy education are the Take Charge Challenge and the Kansas Interfaith Power & Light. Through the Take Charge Challenge program six communities in Kansas have challenged each other to make the greatest reduction in energy consumption over a one-year period. The winner will receive a Wind for Schools turbine installation, a solar panel for a civic building, or an energy efficiency retrofit. The Kansas Interfaith Power & Light project works with churches and religious communities to reduce their energy usage through education, energy efficiency and conservation.
Non-Profit Energy Efficiency
Tonganoxie Unified School District 464
Tonganoxie Unified School District 464 recently participated in the Facility Conservation Improvement Program (FCIP) in an effort to modernize the district's facilities and implement sustainable high performance learning environment improvements. As a result, the district anticipates savings of over $217,000 annually and a 27 percent reduction in total energy use. In addition to the tangible savings, the district took the project to the classroom, educating students on how to make buildings more efficient and environmentally responsible. Students conducted a preliminary energy audit of their school building, made recommendations to school officials in regards to their findings, and wrote letters to local legislators encouraging them to promote energy efficiency in other schools across Kansas.
Private Sector Renewable Energy
Founded in Lenexa in 2001, TradeWind Energy is a leading developer of wind energy in Kansas and surrounding Midwestern states with a wind project pipeline approaching 10,000 megawatts of renewable power. Most notable among TradeWind Energy's achievements is the completion and commercial operation of the largest wind farm in Kansas, the Smoky Hills Wind Project located west of Salina. Smoky Hills has a generating capacity of just under 250 megawatts - enough to power 75,000 homes with reliable and clean energy. The project is viewed by more than 22,000 individuals traveling I-70 daily and has become an iconic and educational image for the state's newest crop - wind energy.
Private Sector Energy Efficiency
As Sprint's Corporate Energy Manager, Phillip Collingwood, has aggressively moved Sprint to the forefront in energy management by continually challenging the status quo and exploring new ways to initiate strategies resulting in energy and costs savings and the utilization of sustainable renewable energy sources. Under Collingwood's leadership, Sprint negotiated with Kansas City Power and Light for 10 megawatts of wind energy for the Sprint Campus in Overland Park, satisfying 75 percent of the campus' annual electrical demand. Among other things, Collingwood is responsible for instilling the values of energy conservation and sustainability across the organization resulting commitment to energy management and reducing Sprint's annual energy consumption by double digits.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Jim Ploger, aka Mr. Energy, has been and continues to be a force in the field of energy in Kansas. For almost two decades, Ploger has worked diligently to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy first through the Kansas Energy Office and most recently as Midwestern Regional Coordinator with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO). Ploger has served on multiple boards and committees including: Western Governors' Association "Clean & Diversified Energy Advisory Committee; State Energy Advisory Board to the Department of Energy; NASEO's Board of Directors; Energy Services Coalition Market Transformation Committee; and the Kansas Wind Working Group. The commitment and optimism that Ploger brings to a project is evident in the growth and success of the Wind and Renewable Energy Conference that he started 10 years ago with only 50 or so participants and today boasts nearly 700.