Large meeting of wind energy professionals kicks off in May

AUSTIN, Texas, May 12, 2003 — Texas will be home to six major renewable energy events over the next six months.

To take best advantage of the convergence of events to cement Texas’ reputation as a sustainable energy innovator, a group of state, municipal, non-profit and clean energy organizations have come together to form the Texas Sustainable Energy Network (TxSEN) and promote new opportunities for consumers, businesses and the government.

The series of meetings starts this month with the American Wind Energy Association annual conference in Austin and continues through November in Austin and central Texas with the American Solar Energy Society annual conference, the National Association of State Energy Officials annual meeting, the Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair, the U.S.-Mexico Border Energy Forum and the 16th National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Industry Growth Forum.

The wind conference, which will take place May 18-21, is slated to be the world’s largest meeting of wind energy professionals to date, bringing more than 3,000 people to Austin.

Much of the progress in renewable energy in Texas can be attributed to the Renewable Portfolio Standard signed into law in 1999 by then-Governor George W. Bush. The standard mandated that Texas add 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2009, enough energy to power approximately 800,000 average homes. By the end of 2001, the state was already halfway to that goal.

Nearly 20 percent of world wind power installed came from Texas in 2001. The 915 MW of newly installed wind generation capacity was more than was installed in the entire country in any previous year. If Texas were a nation, it would be third in the world in creating new wind power.

Texas also is the only state in the nation with a legislatively mandated efficiency goal.

Spindletop, the name of a small knoll just south of Beaumont, startled the world when it erupted on January 10, 1901, to start producing more than 80,000 barrels of oil a day. Today, wind prospectors criss-cross the state looking for land for giant wind farms the way wildcatters once crossed the state searching for oil.

“With the American Wind Energy Association conference happening in Austin, the nation is recognizing Texas’ leading role in the growth of renewable energy,” said Walter Hornaday, president of Austin-based Cielo Wind Power. “We hope this is just a starting point for launching the next wave of renewable energy development in Texas.”

“Just as Texas started out the 20th Century with a bang with petroleum, we realize that Texan expertise in every aspect of energy gives us a real 21st Century advantage in pushing for new frontiers,” explained Richard Amato, director of the Clean Energy Incubator.

The organizations joining together to place the spotlight on renewable energy in Texas include the Austin Clean Energy Initiative, Austin Energy, Central Texas Clean Cities, Cielo Wind Power, City of Austin, Clean Energy Incubator, Fuel Cells Texas, Good Company Associates, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Great Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Keep Texas Beautiful, Lower Colorado River Authority, Metropolitan Partnership for Energy, Public Utility Commission of Texas, State Energy Conservation Office, Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association, and the Texas Solar Energy Society.

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