Windustry helped organize and produce the sixth annual Small Wind Conference, held this past June in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Nearly 400 small wind systems and business colleagues attended from across the United States, as well as Mexico, Canada, Europe, Japan, and South Korea.
A keynote address kicked off the two-day event, given by Larry Flowers, National Wind Technology Center Principal Project Leader at National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Guests then enjoyed networking opportunities and presentations covering relevant and timely topics for policy analysts, manufacturers, and installers.
The conference wrapped up in Pfiffner Park, on the beautiful Wisconsin Riverfront, at a barbeque sponsored by Bergey Windpower.
Small Wind Conference 2010 presentation highlights:
- Administrators of three state public-benefits programs explained what they look for in grant applications.
- Manufacturers gave updates on the status of their companies and products, including an in-depth look at midsized turbines (turbines above 100 kW and below 1000kW), a fast growing segment of community wind installations.
- Presentations for installers discussed climbing safety, what installers need in order to make their businesses sustainable, and a brainstorming session to help organize a working group to craft a best practices and standards document.
- National Standards, for both turbines and installers, was the subject of a panel discussion with representatives from the Small Wind Certification Council (SWCC), the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), and Underwriters Laboratories. Topics included certification, safety codes, turbine testing and results, wind resource measurement, and siting.
- Poster sessions included presentations on wind energy education, wind assessment techniques, turbine manufacturers, and regional small wind test centers at Department of Energy/NREL
Awards given during the conference recognized individual contributions, while also highlighting milestones, in the small wind field:
- Robert Preus, of XZERES Wind, was presented with the Wind Powering America Small Wind Advocate Award for his leadership and dedication in championing the US small wind turbine market, and particularly for his advocacy work to remove small wind barriers in Texas, Idaho, and Oregon.
- Dr. Robert Wills, PE, from Windmonitoring.com, was recognized along with Preus, for updating the National Electric Code to include comprehensive requirements for small wind turbines that will increase safety and validate the small wind industry.
- Lisa and Joe DiFrancisco, of North Coast Energy Systems in Pennsylvania, received the Small Wind Conference Installer of the Year Award for their work in advancing the interests of small wind in the eastern United States.
- Ken Starcher, of the Alternative Energy Institute in Texas, received The Small Wind Educator Award for his role in advocating for small wind technology and educating numerous university students, international interns, and consumers on small wind industry issues.
The annual conference is developed and coordinated by a Small Wind Conference Coordinating Committee. This year, it was supported by a record, 22 sponsors and 25 exhibitors. The seventh annual Small Wind Conference will take place on June 13 - 15 in Stevens Point at the Holiday Inn Conference Center.