Desert project shows wind’s challenges — and opportunities

By Nick Juliano, E&E News:

It was an item in the local paper that started Tom Ashby on his journey home a few years back — a new wind farm was being planned just a few miles from where he grew up.

After more than 15 years away from home, Ashby hoped the chance to join the growing renewable energy sector would present his next opportunity. He sent a résumé to Pattern Energy, which was developing the wind farm, and with some perseverance and a little luck ended up being hired as the assistant facility manager at the Spring Valley Wind project.

Ashby, 53, moved to Idaho, where he found work in the state’s gold and silver mines, in 1994, and he left the mining industry in 2001 to take a job in a coal-fired power plant in Colorado operated by Xcel Energy Inc.

But he never forgot his roots in rural east-central Nevada’s White Pine County, population 10,000. He kept up with news from home on the Ely Times‘ website, where he first learned of the Spring Valley Wind project that now employs him… Read more


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