The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) annual WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition brings together thousands of wind power developers, manufacturers, workers, executives, and other stakeholders interested in the US wind market. This year, the event was hosted in New Orleans in the State of Louisiana which is not exactly known as a wind hub and has no wind power installed. The state has, however, delivered the five jacket foundations for the Block Island project – the first offshore wind farm in the US which is currently under construction and which will soon be equipped with LM Wind Power 73.5 meter blades!
“Block Island was one of the top themes of the WINDPOWER 2016 show. It’s an important signal of an offshore industry starting to get on its feet,” said Commercial Director Americas, Dorte Kamper. “The fact that we provide the blades is a great conversation starter that allows us to talk about our technology and long track record from Europe.”
Dorte continued: “The main topic on everyone’s lips, however, was the optimism spurred by the extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) that provides five years of certainty, which we need to make the absolute most of. We will see steady growth and we must use this period of stability to take innovation to the next level, for instance with longer and more slender blades to drive down costs and make wind power fully competitive with other forms of energy.”
Ten percent of US electricity from wind by 2020
According to AWEA, the feedback from the industry is clear: cost cuts and innovation will drive the industry to 10 percent of US electricity by 2020, double the share of electricity compared to today. This will require at least eight gigawatts of new installations every year for the next five years.
Today 40 U.S. states have wind power installed and can reliably supply power for 20 million American homes. Last year, wind installations surpassed all other energy technologies including solar and natural gas, and wind power jobs grew 20 percent entering 2016. Wind power now supports 88,000 jobs in the US — 1350 of which are at LM Wind Power.
LM Wind Power was well represented by our colleagues in top management, Sales & Marketing, Sourcing, Engineering, Operations and Service who took turns in manning our booth in the exhibition hall. The conference track featured technical presentations from Roel Schuring, VP Engineering and Senior Director, Test & Validation Center, John Korsgaard.
Senior Director, Test & Validation Center, John Korsgaard, represented LM Wind Power in the conference track of the WINDPOWER 2016 show, with a presentation on increased performance and reliability of wind turbine blades.