Best of the Wind Energy Industry Honored in Houston

HOUSTON, Texas, June 3, 2008 (ENS) – The American Wind Energy Association has announced the recipients of its 2008 Awards, paying tribute to a group of advocates and leaders for their outstanding efforts on behalf of wind energy.

Turbine at the King Mountain Wind Ranch near
Odessa, Texas, source of some of Austin’s
electricity. (Photo courtesy
Cielo Wind Power)

U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell, a Washington Democrat, and John Ensign, a Nevada Republican, received special congressional awards for their championship of the federal renewable energy production tax credit on which much wind development depends.

Iowa Governor Chet Culver, a Democrat, and his team at the Iowa Department of Economic Development were honored for bringing wind power manufacturers and the jobs they create to Iowa.

The winners were recognized during the WINDPOWER 2008 Conference & Exhibition that opened its four day run Sunday in Houston.

“As the wind energy industry earns its place in the mainstream energy marketplace, we are proud to honor the people behind our success,” said AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher.

“Each has worked to bring clean, affordable and reliable wind to market, some through political advocacy, others through technological development and application, and others by offering innovative solutions to market challenges,” Swisher said. “These leaders are helping to create a cleaner and more cost-effective way of generating power for our nation, benefiting workers, our economy, and our environment.”

The 2008 AWEA Award Recipients and the association’s reasons for their selection:

* Special Congressional Awards: U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and John Ensign (R-NV)

Senators Cantwell and Ensign displayed determined, bipartisan leadership in support of wind power by sponsoring the Cantwell-Ensign amendment to extend expiring renewable energy incentives including a one-year extension of the federal renewable energy production tax credit. The Cantwell-Ensign amendment to the Housing Stimulus Bill won by a vote of 88-8. This vote highlighted the urgency of extending the credit to protect jobs and encourage continuing investment. The fight goes on as the tax credit is still due to expire on December 31 of this year.
* State Leadership: Iowa Department of Economic Development

Governor Chet Culver; Mike Tramontina, director; Jeffrey Rossate, division administrator; Joe Jongewaard, project manager – Wind Energy

The Iowa team has been effective at bringing wind-related supply chain businesses to the Midwest, and in so doing, has raised national awareness of wind power’s potential for job creation.

They have traveled the world, participating in national and European events to encourage wind industry companies to invest in Iowa. In the past two years, they have convinced at least five major companies (including Clipper Wind, Siemens, TPI Composites, and Hendricks Industries) to install manufacturing facilities in the state.
* Lifetime Achievement: Hap Boyd, General Electric

For more than two decades, Boyd has been an effective advocate for the wind industry at both the federal and state levels. In one of many highlights in his career, he played a very active role in the formation of the Wind Coalition and the passage of Texas’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, the foundation of today’s extensive wind development in the Lone Star State. Boyd has also played a critical role in helping secure the many extensions of the federal wind energy production tax credit since its initial expiration in 1999, and is participating in the effort to extend it again this year.
* Person of the Year: Michael Skelly, Horizon Wind Energy

Skelly has been a forceful and long-term advocate for the wind industry and a true team player, dedicating many hours to AWEA board service. Under Skelly’s leadership, Horizon has been instrumental in pulling the wind industry closer together to work on matters of common interest.
* Technical Achievement: The 20 Percent Wind Energy by 2030 Report Team

The U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, AWEA staff, and Black & Veatch worked together for over a year and a half on a groundbreaking report, “20 Percent Wind Energy by 2030: Increasing Wind Energy’s Contribution to U.S. Electricity Supply,” which was issued by the Energy Department on May 12.
* Achievement in Advocacy – Local Appreciation: Tom “Smitty” Smith, Public Citizen

Instrumental in founding the Wind Coalition, Smitty has been a tireless renewable energy advocate for decades. He has been instrumental in the evolution of Texas as it has become the nation’s largest market for wind. Smitty also serves on the boards of Clean Water Action, the Wind Coalition, Texans for Public Justice, Campaigns for People, the Clean Energy Project of CEERT, a nature preserve, and a solar energy company.
* Achievement in Advocacy: Chris Taylor, Horizon Wind Energy

Serving on the Steering Committee for the Washington Initiative campaign, Taylor helped raise substantial financial resources, spoke to industry groups and editorial boards on its behalf, and provided strategic advice to advocates in Washington and Oregon.
* Commercial Achievement: Barrett Stambler, PPM Energy

A prolific marketer of wind power in the North American market, Stambler has applied his creativity to help develop innovative structures for renewable power sales.
* Achievement in Operations: Bill Frazier, FPL Energy

A wind technician at FPL’s New Mexico Wind Energy Center 136-turbine, 204-MW wind project, Frazier also serves as the high voltage specialist for his region. His refined skills have been vital to repairs at existing wind sites and to the commissioning of almost every wind site that FPL Energy has brought on line.

American Wind Energy Association’s Green Conference

AWEA is taking a number of steps to make WINDPOWER 2008 more environmentally friendly than past conferences.

Conference organizers have used electronic correspondence as much as possible with limited hard copy mailings, and have encouraged people to reserve a booth and register for the event online. The exhibitor manual was posted online and sent in CD-ROM format rather than sending out all hard copy kits.

Registrants were offered an easy way to participate in the conference’s green travel program. During the online registration they were able to purchase renewable energy credits to reduce the environmental impact of car and flight travel to the conference. Use of public transportation to and from the airport was encouraged.

Conference organizers partnered with Community Energy, Inc. for the travel energy credits and also in greening the energy use of the conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center with renewable energy credits sourced from wind projects in Texas.

Organizers worked with the Convention Center to set up recycling during exhibitor move-in and move-out days for items such as cardboard, unused promotional brochures, and other booth materials.

Conference supplies such as bags, lanyards, pens, and notepads all incorporate post-consumer waste and recycled materials. Recycling bins are conveniently everywhere.

Water coolers are provided instead of individual bottled water to prevent over 50,000 plastic bottles from entering the waste stream. The cups used at the water station are 100 percent compostable and made from a material derived from corn.

Surplus food is donated to local shelters or soup kitchens.

Organizers worked with the conference hotels to ensure they are implementing their own environmental initiatives, including linen and towel re-use programs and recycling programs.

For future WINDPOWER conferences, sites under consideration will be queried on their environmental practices.

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