Member Meetings - Committees & Working Groups
One of the best ways for AWEA business members to get more involved in the wind energy industry is to participate in one or more AWEA Committees or Working Groups. Get the latest information about wind energy industry developments, sector-specific initiatives, and policy updates. These working groups and committees will also be helping set the direction for the U.S. wind energy industry in 2013, focusing on the specific areas of transmission, O&M, utility issues, safety, offshore, R&D, and many other subject areas – each which has its own working group that you can participate in as an AWEA business member.
If you are not sure which committee best fits your needs, please review this brochure or contact one of our membership experts (firstname.lastname@example.org) to help guide you to expand your network and develop your business. Please also review our full schedule of AWEA Committee, Working Group & Side Meetings at WINDPOWER 2013. Below you can find the latest updates from a few of our Committees and Working Groups. This will give you an idea of what top priority issues are discussed in each community.
We are on target to have a great 1st edition of the AWEA O&M Recommended Practices ready by WINDPOWER 2013 in Chicago. Members of this group are helping to have these practices completed by the submittal date of April 1. The draft edition is available in the members section of the AWEA website. The target audiences for these recommendations are new technicians entering the field as well as managers, engineers and technicians that might be moving over from another energy section or even an unrelated industry. They should also be useful for asset managers that need a better understanding of the requirements for running a wind power plant. The next in-person meeting of the O&M Working Group will be on Tuesday, May 7th from 7:00 AM – 8:30 AM during WINDPOWER 2013.
In December 2012, the FWS published a recommendation in the Federal Register to list the lesser prairie-chicken (LEPC) as a threatened species throughout its range (covering portions of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas) and found that designation of critical habitat for the species under the ESA is prudent, but not determinable at this time. The prairie chicken has had declining populations throughout its range over the last several decades as a result of habitat loss related to all forms of development pressure (including wind energy).
As part of the initial listing determination, which must be finalized in December 2013, the USFWS sought public comments on, among other things, regulations that may be addressing the threats to the species and ongoing conservation measures for the species and its habitat, whether there are threats to the species from human activity that would be expected to increase due to the designation, and whether that increase in threat would outweigh the benefit of designation such that the designation of critical habitat may not be prudent. AWEA’s comments focused on the flawed data utilized by the USFWS in estimating the amount of future wind development throughout the LEPC’s range, as well as the limited and weak science used in determining the impact of wind energy development on the bird, and noted that through proactive efforts, such as the Great Plains Wind Energy Habitat Conservation Plan, that present and future voluntary conservation efforts will be sufficient to preclude the need to list the LEPC. To learn more about these and other siting activities please sign up for the Siting Committee and plan to attend its next in-person meeting taking place at WINDPOWER on May 6th from 4:30-6 PM Central Time.
AWEA’s Manufacturing Working Group has focused its efforts on serving as an advisory body for the association as well as an information hub for current members. Valuable member-insights have aided AWEA in calculating a more robust market estimate for 2013-2014 and validating data for the upcoming AWEA Annual Market Report. On policy, the group worked to distribute information about the Department of Energy’s 48C manufacturing tax credit and encouraged eligible companies to apply. Looking to export markets, the group focused attention on the Department of Commerce’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee, with two MWG members nominated to serve on the Committee. The next in-person meeting of the MWG will be on Tuesday, May 7th from 1:00 – 2:30 during WINDPOWER 2013.