AWEA’s WINDPOWER 2016 Kicks Off With Election Of New Board Leaders


Thousands of wind power stakeholders are arriving in New Orleans this week for the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) annual WINDPOWER 2016 conference and exhibition, taking place over the next four days.

WINDPOWER 2016 began this morning with the election of new leadership by the AWEA board of directors. Former Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu will speak during tomorrow’s welcome/opening general session at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center at 9:00 a.m.

This year’s WINDPOWER theme is “Generation Wind,” which helps promote future leaders in the industry, says AWEA.

AWEA has elected Chris Brown, president of Vestas Americas, its new board chairman, succeeding Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy Group LP. Other officers elected today were Chair-Elect Tristan Grimbert, president and CEO of EDF Renewable Energy; Treasurer Ray Wood, managing director/global head of power and renewables at Bank of America Merrill Lynch; and Secretary Michael Skelly, president of CleanLine Energy Partners.

Also joining as new additions to AWEA’s board of directors through its member elections are the following executives:

  • Bill Fehrman, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy Co.;
  • Rafael Gonzalez, CEO of Enel Green Power North America Inc.; and
  • Greg Wolf, president of commercial portfolios at Duke Energy Renewables.

Finally, new interim directors recently voted in by AWEA’s board are as follows:

  • Frank Burkhartsmeyer, president and CEO of Avangrid Inc.; and
  • Karen Lane, chief financial officer for wind power and renewables at Siemens Energy.

“With long-term policy certainty in place, this year’s attendees are excited to arrive in New Orleans and see what’s next for our industry,” says Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “Thanks to U.S. factory workers’ building wind turbine parts and supplies, including hundreds here in Louisiana, we continue to lower our costs and give Americans the power to power ourselves.

“Thanks to 20 percent job growth over the previous year, there are more workers in wind power than there are seats in the Superdome,” he continues. “With its continued technology upgrades, wind energy continues to expand throughout the southeastern U.S. By adding new transmission lines, we can bring even more of wind power’s clean, low-cost source of electricity to more Americans in this region.”

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