STEPHEN VIALCo-Founder / Managing Member
As managing member of Louisiana Wind, LLC, Stephen is responsible for the wind project origination, feasibility, land lease contracts, interconnection, preliminary permitting, regulatory issues, and project financial structure.
Prior to the Louisiana Wind development, Stephen was Resident Manager for design, engineering and construction in New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, and Manager of the Consulting Services Group for The Austin Company, an international design-build firm in Irvine, CA for 14 years.
In 1999 Stephen founded The Design-Build Group, LLC in New Orleans. Throughout his design-build career he was responsible for contracts totaling in excess of $600M. Projects included industrial, commercial professional services for design-build projects and real estate development.
DONALD A. NEVINSTeam Member
During his successful career, Don has been a key team member on projects both nationally and internationally representing over $2.5 billion in total project cost. The projects range from major corporate facilities to co-generation power plants.
During his career he has served as Principal, Vice President, and Director of Business Development for such companies as AECOM, The Austin Company, and HNTB.
Core markets cover the spectrum of corporate commercial, technology based companies, land development, R&D facilities and co-generation power plants.
Over half of his projects were implemented on a design–build approach with a guaranteed cost and schedule. Key responsibilities cover building and managing the client relationship, programming/ facilities development, and project management.
TERRY CHASETeam Member
Terry Chase leads the Research Valley Innovation Center, in collaboration with Texas A&M University, where she completes diligence for investors and corporate venture programs.
Previously, Terry was Director of the State of Texas $500M Texas Emerging Technology Fund. She negotiated over $25M in returns and was credited with being the employee who generated the most returns for the office.
She co-founded AVINDE, a women’s business accelerator and has launched or helped launch over 40 startups—many led by women. She serves on the national advisory committee for venture accelerator, Springboard Enterprises.
Previously, she was an entrepreneur spinning out university technologies into successful products and companies. Terry founded an award-winning bioprocessing startup, which was named one of Fortune Magazine’s “Coolest Companies”. She also served on the Board of FujiFilm Diosynth Biotechnologies Texas.
The Austin American Statesman named her one of Austin’s most social citizens and the Austin Business Journal named her one of the Top 20 politically-minded Austinites to know. Terry holds a master’s degree in Technology Management, and Finance and Accounting from the University of Maryland.
JOHN A. PAPPAS, PETeam Member
John Pappas is currently serving Texas A&M University as the Principal Lead for their Clean Energy Incubator, which has the University’s Energy Institute as one Center of Excellence. He has over 32 years experience in company start-up, technology development and commercialization, business development, program management, and engineering R&D. Products developed include electrical generators, wind farms, power converters, and manufacturing processes for wind turbines and blades.
John previously served as Director, Wind Energy Center; Interim Director, Energy Institute; Academic Chair, The Wind Alliance technology committee; Co-PI on the project “Development of a magnetic gear drive train for wind-turbines”; and PI on the project “An automated manufacturing process for wind turbine blades”. He also coordinated, co-authored, editor and IPT lead for Wind Energy Consortia for Institutions of Higher Education proposal, and coordinated, co-authored, and innovation team lead for GoWind proposals to US DOE and Texas Emerging Technology Fund.
John received a BSEE from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a MSEE from the University of Texas at Austin. His community involvement includes member, National Academy of Sciences Committee on Workforce Issues in the Energy and Mining Industries; and the advisory board for the National Science Foundation CREST Center for Energy and Environmental Sustainability at Prairie View A&M University.
JEFFREY D. CANTINCo-Founder / Managing Member
Jeff Cantin is co-founder and managing member of Louisiana Wind, LLC. He is also founder and president of Solar Alternatives, Inc. in New Orleans, an independent solar energy EPC firm, as well as co-founder of Gulf States Renewable Energy, a trade association for Louisiana and Mississippi. He previously led electrical contractor Bayou Power, Inc. from 2004-2008, including historic property and commercial renovation, and still holds a statewide Masters Electrical License.
Jeff previously consulted in enterprise software development through Group 227, Inc. in Atlanta, GA until 2003, leading web engine redevelopment for mega-portals Weather.com (2000-2001) and London-based Vizzavi/Vodafone (2001-2002).
Jeff’s community involvement includes serving as Site Engineer for the Association Haiti de Development Humaine’s (AHDH) Haiti medical offices, and as Director of American Zen Association (2003- 2008). He was born and raised in New Orleans and received a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Rice University.
Louisiana Wind, LLC, a Louisiana company was formed in June 2013 to develop and build a wind farm to harvest Class 3 winds shown to exist in central Louisiana (Figure 1). When fully implemented the 150 MW Louisiana Wind Farm will have approximately 55 turbines installed; over 4,500 acres and provide enough electricity equivalent to power more than 60,000 average Louisiana households.
Lousiana Wind will generate millions of dollars in royalties for landowners over the life of the project and infuse millions more into the local economy. The project moves Louisiana another step closer to achieving its potential to collect meaningful amount of its power from wind.
The wind farm is located in Southeastern Evangeline Parish and includes current land leases for turbine placement sites over 4,500 acres and has a minimum target for 150MW of power generation. The estimate is based on approximately 55 wind turbine generators of up to 3.0MW capacity each. Construction of Louisiana Wind is targeted to begin in late 2016 and will reached substantial completion in mid 2018. The project proposes to connect to one of multiple utility 230Kvw lines available that can support our capacity. The electricity from the project will be under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement.
Currently, Lousiana Wind has over 4,500 acres under lease, has completed preliminary wind assessment, utility system impact studies, environmental, permitting and is positioned to complete final system and facility impact studies, environmental approvals, detailed site and turbine engineering, and is posied to enter into negotiations leading to the Power Purchase Agreement.
Lousiana Wind leadership has hosted meetings with local policymakers and regulators that have enhanced the community and policy position of the project. Municipal leaders such as the Parish Assessor, Public Service Commission members, State District Representative and State Senator (District leaders: H. Bernard Lebas, State District representative: K. Eric LaFleur, State Senator) have been briefed regarding the project. Local municipal leaders: Dirk DeVille, Evangeline Parish Assessor have also been briefed, as well as, Clyde Holloway, Chairman Louisiana Public Service Commission.
Lousiana Wind has also hosted information sessions and group presentations on Wind Turbine Generator siting and impacts. Discussions with all landowners and stakeholder and groups have been positive. Lousiana Wind has also been in contact and have open communication lines with the following groups which are very supportive of the “Green Power” factor of the wind farm: Sierra Club, Alliance for Affordable Energy, US Green Building Council, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Green Army, and the National Resources Defense Council.
Throughout the early phases consistent communication has been provided to current landowners and stakeholders; Lousiana Wind has met personally with owners of leased and potentially leased properties. One Acadiana Economic Development, the local incentive provider has engaged to review projections and guide Lousiana Wind through the tax incentive process. There is general goodwill and anticipation of a successful wind project in Louisiana.
LAND LEASE AND PERMITTING REQUIREMENTS
Based on a third party review and documentation of existing permitting and approvals from the State, Parish, FAA, and other governing authorities the following summary is representative of the acreage under land lease:
- Evangeline Parish has no restrictive wind energy siting ordinances or zoning regulations. Project impacts to parish roads, drainage ditches, and floodplains will require review and approval from the respective departments. Evangeline Parish has requested to review plans to discuss the project.
- There are no state ordinances restricting, regulating the siting and development of wind energy projects.
- If state-maintained road right-of-way will be encroached upon by project infrastructure, the appropriate permit must be obtained from LaDOTD (Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development). The study recommends consulting with LaDOTD at least three months prior to construction. After a review of the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) the study recommends a site survey to document location/ownership of any pipelines or easements on the property.
- No railroad lines are documented on the subject property.
- Storm water regulations require all commercial construction disturbances greater than one acre to obtain a storm water discharge permit, which requires the development of a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3). Additionally, a Notice of Intent must be filed with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ). Provisional approval is granted two calendar days from the date of submission.
- Any proposed water well associated with the project must be reviewed and approved by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR) Groundwater Resources Program. A permit application must be submitted at least 60 days prior to well installation.
- Preliminary FAA review indicates project is compatible with height restrictions. The FAA requires notice of construction when the proposed construction will exceed 200-feet above the ground, or within certain distances from a public or military airport. Submittal of FAA form 7460-1 will likely be required for each proposed turbine, as it is assumed the turbines will exceed the 200 foot threshold. Erections of the turbines should begin in late summer, 2017.