LAS VEGAS—Reflecting the busy pace of wind turbine construction this year, North America’s biggest wind energy conference and exhibition started ramping up today with a packed schedule of educational sessions, installation of new board leaders for the American Wind Energy Association, and an expansive exhibition show-floor that will turn into a bustling marketplace when WINDPOWER 2014 kicks off Tuesday morning.
That transformation of the exhibition floor at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, where WINDPOWER 2014 takes place May 5-8 in its first-ever stop in Las Vegas, reflects this year’s conference theme—Transformation in motion. Show organizers said that the slogan mirrors the American wind industry’s continual technological advances, and the record 13,000-plus megawatts (MW) that were under construction by April 1 of this year. The cost of wind energy has gone down an extraordinary 43 percent over four years.
More importantly, it reflects the future taking shape right here in Las Vegas. At WINDPOWER 2013 in Chicago a year ago, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the launch of a new Wind Vision for America that updates the agency’s landmark 2008 report showing the feasibility of getting 20 percent of U.S. electricity from wind energy by 2030.
Today marks the start of a new industry year for AWEA’s Board leadership, with Susan Reilly, President and CEO of RES Americas, succeeding EDPR’s Gabriel Alonso as Board Chair. Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy Group Inc., becomes Chair-Elect.
Here at WINDPOWER 2014, DOE will share preliminary findings of its Wind Vision, including how U.S. wind energy can double by 2020 en route to the longer-term goals.
“This is the first time WINDPOWER has been in Las Vegas, and that’s appropriate because this year’s event promises to be filled with new and exciting information coming out of our industry,” said AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan.
He will urge attendees in a general session speech on Tuesday to get more deeply engaged in policy advocacy and work with legislators toward creating a longer-term foundation for the industry’s growth. A checklist for getting active in the industry, given to every attendee, lists such steps as joining the industry’s Speakers Bureau and signing up for email action alerts.
This afternoon the conference program kicks off with a series of technical training sessions being led by AWEA business members and other organizations in their various areas of expertise. Then, later today, WINDPOWER officially goes full throttle with an Opening Reception that takes place at the House of Blues, right in the Mandalay Bay facility.
WINDPOWER always is a news-making event, and facilitating the information exchange will be a series of media availabilities with top officials and experts that members of the media will not want to miss.
All of the media events will take place in Mandalay Bay Ballroom A. Call-in information is available for the media availabilities upon request. Please contact Brian Willis, firstname.lastname@example.org.
(all times Pacific)
Tuesday May 6, 10:15 a.m. Media availability with Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA; Shaun McGrath, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 and several others from the Opening Session
Tuesday May 6, 11 a.m. Press conference with the below speakers:
- Christopher Brophy, Vice President, Corporate Sustainability, MGM Resorts Int’l.
- Stacey Kusters, Vice President of Renewables and Origination, Nevada Energy
- Paul Thomsen, Director of Office of Energy for Governor Sandoval
Wednesday May 7, 10:30 a.m.: Media availability with Seth Goldman, CEO of Honest Tea; David Danielson, Assistant Secretary, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) for the U.S. Department of Energy and several other speakers from Wind Industry Leaders Panel
For the latest WINDPOWER 2014 updates and other industry news, go to www.awea.org/presskit