Friday, April 24, 2009

A fresh breeze

We're still waiting for someone to plug us into the rest of Texas with transmission lines, but local students got the benefit of wind power Saturday even before the big construction push starts.

Cielo Wind Power, of Austin, held its annual Earth Day Wind Ball in Vega on April 13 and awarded scholarships to students from around the area. To qualify, students wrote an essay about being stewards of the Earth and how they will continue to pursue that role.

Panhandle scholarship recipients include Shelley Fangman of Vega High School, Anna Rebecca Johnson of Adrian High School, Amelia Taylor of Clarendon High School, Trent Daniel Britten of Groom High School, Skyler Michele Conatser of Hedley High School, Chase Bohler of McLean School, Keslie Satterwhite of Panhandle High School and Tim Poland and Thomas Rapstine of White Deer High School.

Rory Schepisi, owner of Boot Hill Saloon in Vega and a former finalist on Next Food Network Star, provided a suitably Earth-friendly meal of organic beef tenderloin, and guests picked up ponderosa pine seedlings to plant. (Never discount a free tree in the Panhandle.)

Cielo is a privately held company that develops, owns and operates wind power facilities in the Southwest. Its latest local venture was the Wildorado Wind Ranch, right on the way to Vega from Amarillo. It sold a large interest in the venture to Edison Mission, of California, but the companies are working on the second phase that should stretch from Wildorado to just over the Potter County line along the Canadian River Breaks.

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