Wind Uprising documents USU wind project

A documentary by two Utah State University Marketing Professors depicts the four-year effort to develop the Spanish Fork Wind Project and has become an award winner at California’s Mountain Film Festival. “Wind Uprising”, written and produced by Cathy Hartman and Ed Stafford, is narrated by former U.S. Senator Jake Garn. Hartman and Stafford have been researching renewable energy and clean technology since 1995. “Ed and I thought about this as being an historic event,” said Hartman. “It’s Utah’s first commercial wind project. Initially we thought about capturing it on film so that we would always have the story, as a piece of history.” Hartman and Stafford had been working behind the scenes with both Tracy Livingston and Christine Watson-Mikell through their work developing the project. “We started filming in October, 2007,” said Stafford, “when the project looked like many of the hurdles where being cleared and we could see they were going to break ground.” Hartman and Stafford started with a list of those who were involved in the process: utility executives, the Governor’s energy adviser and some representatives on the legislature’s utilities committee. “We started interviewing those people,” said Hartman, “to have them talk about how they were involved in the process. Our documentary is 30 minutes long and we have about 200 hours recorded on film. We ended up with a lot more footage than is represented in this documentary.” Hartman said the documentary explains what Livingston and Watson-Mikell had to overcome, including policy barriers, securing an investor, issues with transmission and some resistance from the community. The documentary, the first for Hartman and Stafford, was originally titled “Prospecting Canyon Winds”. Later they decided that didn’t capture what the film was about. They got together with one of their collaborators, Michelle Nunez of Green Tech Films, and came up with a change. “The title ‘Wind Uprising’ seemed odd at first,” said Stafford, “but it reflects the story. Here was a new industry uprising in Utah and it also characterizes some of the other uprisings where people in Spanish Fork opposed the project.” The documentary’s Utah premier is Thursday, April 8 at 1:15 p.m. at a Partners in Business seminar at the USU Eccles Conference Center, followed by a panel discussion recounting the events that brought the project to Spanish Fork. Stafford said it will also be shown to the public at noon on Earth Day, April 22, at the Huntsman School of Business on the top floor of the Business Building.

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