A Renewable America, with organizing and planning facilitated by AWEA regional partner Wind on the Wires, was pleased to host the first in a series of media and public engagement trainings on August 27th in the Twin Cities metro area. Co-hosted by local renewable businesses, Blattner Energy and EDF Renewable Energy, the event was a great success with over 39 attendees, representing more than 15 different companies participating. Attendees included, individuals from wind and solar companies, developers, trucking, construction and other renewable supply chain companies. Representatives from Trade Associations and affiliated organizations also attended.
Research shows that small businesses are among the most credible messengers with elected officials. ARA’s event was designed to help renewable and supply chain businesses become effective advocates by engaging in the legislative process, providing an opportunity to practice media interviews, and reinforcing the need for renewable business and supply chain involvement to help advance policy goals.
Wind Energy Foundation Executive Director John Kostyack kicked off the event by reminding everyone participating that they have a powerful voice that needs to be used.
Doug Fredrickson, Vice President at Blattner Energy, and EDF Renewable Energy CEO Tristan Grimbert, followed and highlighted how strong policies help their businesses grow, and how that translates to job creation and economic development.
Ellen Anderson, the current Executive Director of the Energy Transition Lab at the University of Minnesota, and former state Senator and Chair of the Minnesota Public Utility Commission, shared her experiences in passing the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio and the importance of business voices in that legislative effort.
A panel discussion with legislative and media experts shared important tips for conducting elected official meetings and media interviews. Breakout sessions enabled participants to get hands on practice with lobby visits and on-camera media training.
We are currently planning similar events in Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio for later this fall.