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Community Listening Session

Purdue Extension was selected by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to co-host a community listening session on end-of-service activities in wind energy development. This listening session is part of a larger engagement effort by NREL to inform future research and educational resources to aid communities in wind energy decision-making. The listening session was held on February 22nd at the White County Fairgrounds, with nearly 40 community members in attendance.  Participants included local government leaders, farmers, landowners, and other residents. Wind deployment researcher for NREL, Matilda Kreider thanked participants, “We were grateful for the fantastic participation from community members, providing us with insights, perspectives, and questions that will help us identify priorities for future work on wind energy end of service.”

NREL presented current practices and trends for wind development end of service activities.  Then, Purdue Extension and NREL facilitated small group discussions gathering community concerns and needs around repowering, decommissioning, and component processing.  Community members were able to explore how these end-of-service activities might impact their community. Several participants expressed appreciation for the opportunity to dialogue with fellow community members. The partnership with NREL allows Purdue Extension to continue to support community-centered decision-making and education.  Kreider shared the partnership's mutual value: "Because NREL works at the national level, we rely on our local and state-level partners to help us better understand the communities we engage with and help us create resources and engagement opportunities that meet the needs and interests of different communities. Purdue Extension was an excellent partner in planning and carrying out this listening session, as we benefited greatly from Extension staff's local knowledge, place-based approaches, and facilitation expertise.”

As a growing number of wind projects begin to undergo end-of-service activities, NREL and the U.S. Department of Energy can better understand what communities and local leaders are thinking and wondering about end-of-service decisions, planning, and impacts. NREL will aggregate the data from the Indiana community listening session with the other listening sessions, interviews, and roundtables they have held.  A report will be available later this year and linked on both NREL and Purdue Extension Community Development’s websites.  NREL will also be sharing some key, preliminary findings in a webinar this May.  More information is forthcoming and will be available at

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