An article on RENEW’s president Jenny Heinzen from the Wisconsin Education Association:
Jenny Heinzen’s job isn’t a breeze – though it does rely on it. As a Wind Energy Technology instructor at Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, Wis., Heinzen not only teaches about harnessing an alternative form of energy, she’s been part of the push for new wind farms in Wisconsin.
In September, Governor Jim Doyle signed into law a bill calling for uniform standards for wind farms. The bill will create a set of rules overruling any local ordinances on wind farms, potentially setting up a boon for wind projects in the state. Heinzen is part of a group called Wind for Wisconsin, which spurred the legislation. Heinzen said she wants to create wind farms to move Wisconsin forward and keep wind energy technology students in the state.
“The bill, and consequently the new law, was absolutely necessary in order to move forward,” Heinzen said. “The last thing I want is to ship all of my graduates to other states. I want them to have jobs available here at home. And I want Wisconsin to start using more renewable energy, as we have no coal, gas, oil or uranium. But we’ve got wind, sun, water and agricultural wastes that can be used to produce electricity. . . .”
Heinzen is also the president of nonprofit clean energy organization RENEW Wisconsin, and said a state set of standards for wind farms is crucial for their development.
“This has been one of our main topics for the past two years,” she said. “The bill was created in response to a plethora of local ordinances that ultimately restricted, and sometimes killed, wind power projects in this state.”
Heinzen said the best part of her job is watching her students learn and climb, as well as setting them up for success later in life.
“Even better is when they get their job as a technician after, and sometimes before, graduation,” she added.