WINDPOWER 2010 Day 1 Wrap-up By Anyah Dembling (AWEA)

Monday’s General Session marked the official kickoff of the conference with CEO Bode discussing the history and the future of the wind energy industry in the United States. She said, “Like the very first electricity-producing turbine at Grandpa’s Knob, today wind power presents us an opportunity to meet the challenges facing the country, to free us from the threats of climate change, of dependence on foreign imports, and on the ‘business as usual’ modus operandi upon which we have relied for too long.”

Denise’s call to action for a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) from Congress was aptly followed by an award presentation to a champion of wind, Senator Byron Dorgan, who urged his colleagues in the Senate to decide where the future of renewable energy development is headed in this country by committing to a national RES. He also announced the upcoming introduction of energy legislation which will feature a 15% RES, and he promised an amendment on the floor for an increase to 20%.

Cathy Zoi, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, joined the stage and touted the Department of Energy’s success in funding renewable energy and wind projects across the country to the tune of $290 million. She also called for a “shift in the political equation” in order to pass clean energy legislation.

The governors’ panel featured Governors Ritter of Colorado, Culver of Iowa and Strickland of Ohio. Each spoke to his state’s successes and upcoming challenges with wind development and integration. Colorado has recently passed an extremely aggressive 30% RES by 2030 and Iowa’s integration rates hit 14% in 2009.

Governor Culver said that Iowa is trying to become a state model for the federal government to follow, noting that the state is pushing hard for a national RES. Governor Strickland mentioned that although Ohio is coming late to the game, they are working to catch up and announced that GE and the Lake Erie Economic Development Corporation will be partnering to develop a 20-MW wind turbines project on Lake Erie, that they hope will be the first freshwater offshore wind farm.

Throughout the day the exhibit floor was bustling with companies’ announcements of mergers, executive leadership changes, and the unveiling of new equipment and projects. These activities are a testament to the exciting and promising business that takes place on the WINDPOWER show floor! Denise Bode, pictured below in the DMI industries booth, helped congratulate Otter Tail, DMI, and E.W. Wylie Corporation on their new partnership to transport large-scale components to project sites.

Monday ended with a private concert at the House of Blues Foundation Room featuring Elvis Costello. The evening was a fundraiser to help officially unveil the American Wind Energy Association Wind Energy Foundation, of which NRG was the leading sponsor, contributing $100,000 and owning the title of first, generous donor to the cause.

For pictures of the events mentioned above and other parts of the WP’10 conference, check out

By Anyah Dembling,