TSTC Emerging Technologies

Keith Plantier, Program Director, Texas Wind Energy Institute

In Wind Energy on December 11, 2008 at 3:20 pm


The power of wind has been used for many years – but the art form of technology is still developing.

Keith Plantier, program director for the Texas Wind Energy Institute, a partnership with TSTC and Texas Tech University, thinks the wind holds endless possibilities.

“I have been a strong advocate of renewable energy since I was in nuclear power program for the US Navy,” Plantier said. “I had wondered what it took to get into the field. I started checking on programs and found TSTC.”

The major wind energy industry of recent times has taken off in many countries, including the United States, to be one of the main renewable energy resources. The United States is ranked 2nd in the world for Installed windpower capacity. Germany takes 1st, and Spain is 3rd.

Plantier, who gained initial experience with technology in the Navy as a nuclear mechanic on submarines, received his Associates degree in Nuclear Energy from Thomas Edison State College during his time in the Navy. Following his discharge from the Navy, Plantier received his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech University.

“The experience alone was worth its weight in gold,” Plantier said of his education as a grad student.

“I think that my education provided me an opportunity to recognize that there is a bigger picture as far as being an engineer,” he said. “I had the advantage of being on the other side of the coin as an operator and now I have an opportunity to leverage that knowledge and incorporate it into my designs.”

Thus, the wind energy industry in its earliest stages as more technology develops is in an exciting time for Plantier and his vision of being a part of a foundation and technology dependence from within.

“I think wind, as part of a diverse portfolio, is the key to the future,” said Plantier. “We have an abundance of resources that are friendlier to the climate than oil, and the more we leverage within our own boundaries, the smaller the check we have to cut to the foreign countries to pay for our dependence on oil.”

“We just have to be smart about it.”

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