August 22, 2008

UWIG Announces Scholarship, Meeting Attendance Assistance Program

The Utility Wind Integration Group (UWIG) announced today that it will establish a scholarship program for students working toward careers in the electric power and wind industries, as well as provide financial assistance to students interested in attending UWIG events.

The UWIG Board of Directors voted August 20 to implement a policy that UWIG will support the education of students enrolled in accredited college or vocational schools in programs related to power engineering, wind energy, or the maintenance of wind turbines. To be eligible for scholarship assistance, a student must be currently enrolled at trade school or college in a field of study that could lead to a career related to utility power engineering or operation and maintenance of utility-scale wind equipment. These scholarships and stipends are intended to encourage completion of a college education, or vocational degrees and programs as well as to further the education of students.

The Board established two classes of financial awards: traditional scholarships and educational stipends that will allow students to attend UWIG meetings.

UWIG may award up to three scholarships each year. Up to two $2,000 scholarships will be granted to students enrolled in an accredited engineering school who are pursuing a career in power engineering with a focus or major on wind generation, and up to one $1,000 scholarship to a student enrolled in an accredited wind technician program. The UWIG Board will determine the winner of each scholarship based on grade point average and a short essay explaining why the student is pursuing a career related to wind generation. The recipients of these scholarships will be made at UWIG's Annual Membership Meeting each spring.

The UWIG Board also plans to award up to six educational stipends each year to provide financial assistance to students wishing to attend a UWIG-sponsored meeting. The amount of the stipends may vary and will be set by the Board in consultation with UWIG staff.

According to UWIG President Henry Durrwachter of Luminant, these programs are part of UWIG's efforts to help address the need for qualified workers in the electric power and wind industries: "Based on the discussions held at our joint workshop with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on power engineering needs for the wind industry this spring, there are a number of steps that organizations can take to help strengthen the workforce in this area, and support of students in their education is a critical one. The UWIG Board recognized this issue and took this step to help address an important need for the industry, which we feel will become only more important as time goes on."

The scholarship program will be available beginning in 2009. Additional information about the application and selection process will be announced by UWIG.

The Utility Wind Integration Group (UWIG) was established in 1989 to provide a forum for the critical analysis of wind technology for utility applications and to serve as a source of credible information on the status of wind technology and deployment. The group's mission is to accelerate the development and application of good engineering and operational practices supporting the appropriate integration of wind power for utility applications through the coordinated efforts and actions of its members, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, its National Renewable Energy Laboratory and utility research organizations. UWIG currently has over 140 members from the United States, Canada, Europe, and New Zealand, including investor-owned, public power, and rural electric cooperative utilities; transmission system operators; and associate member corporate, government, and academic organizations. For more information, visit the UWIG web site at