AWEA Honors Wind Sector Leaders For Contributions To Industry


The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has announced the recipients of the 2011 AWEA Awards, which honor wind industry supporters, leaders, innovators and advocates for their outstanding efforts on behalf of wind energy.

The following individuals and companies received awards for their contributions to wind energy:

The Wind Energy Person of the Year Award went to Britt Theismann, former chief operating officer (COO) and senior vice president at AWEA, who passed away in August. Theismann, who joined AWEA in 2005, was a driving force behind the creation of the Wind Energy Foundation. In his membership director post, he led the recruitment of hundreds of supply-chain companies into the U.S. industry and AWEA membership.

The Outstanding Technical Contribution to the Wind Industry Award went to William Erdman, former president of BEW Engineering and the current department head of DNV Cleaner Energy. He is a technical pioneer in the application of power electronics for variable-speed wind turbine technology in North America.

Erdman is a named inventor on over 30 U.S. and international patents related to wind technology, and the intellectual property contained in these patents has been commercially implemented in wind turbines manufactured over the last two decades by leading turbine producers. He is also a highly valued contributor to wind energy research programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and managed through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The Andrew Linehan Award for Environmental Excellence went to John Calaway of Pattern Energy. Calaway is a leader in using advanced technologies to minimize the environmental impact of wind energy projects, as well as in proper site selection and design. He pioneered the use of radar technology to monitor migratory birds at the Gulf Wind project site, and this practice has been adopted at a number of other projects.

Calaway has also implemented the use of the latest high-resolution three-dimensional radar and infrared technology to monitor bat flying patterns. At Gulf Wind, John also led the effort to reduce cut-in speeds during bat migrations, which resulted in a 60% reduction in bat mortality.

The Achievement in Operations Award went to Alex George, who leads the operations and asset management of Invenergy LLC's portfolio of more than 4,800 MW of wind and thermal power plants. He has over 28 years of experience in the power industry, including in engineering, construction, project development, commissioning, operations and asset management. George was responsible for starting up Invenergy's operations and maintenance affiliate, Invenergy Services.

The Outstanding Commercial Achievement Award went to Joe Fahrendorf of enXco. Fahrendorf has spent the past 20 years in the wind industry, joining enXco in 2000. Under his stewardship, enXco has built a multi-regional greenfield development team and pipeline in the U.S. and Canada. His contributions to enXco and to the industry as a whole have set the example of how to develop wind projects in multiple regions at a rapidly expanding scale, while at the same time achieving commercial success and taking shareholder concerns into account.

The Wind Energy Advocacy Award had three recipients: Vestas Wind Systems, TPI Composites Inc. and General Electric. Vestas received the award on account of being a founding partner of the WindMade label. In addition, TPI Composites and GE received the award for showcasing the power of wind by displaying a 130-foot TPI wind turbine at selected events.

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