A WORD FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Donors and friends –
One of the keys to the success of the Wind Energy Foundation is the power of storytelling. Our flagship A Renewable America (ARA) campaign educates and persuades the public and decision makers to support renewable energy by enlisting business people to deliver their unique stories of community revitalization. When a business person communicates directly and in very personal terms to a local reporter, member of Congress or state legislator about the economic vitality that has come to her town due to her company’s work manufacturing parts for wind turbines, it packs a real punch. When stories like these are paired with compelling state-level economic data and images from the Wind Energy Foundation, we are well-positioned for policy success.
To date, much of Wind Energy Foundation’s storytelling work has been through business roundtables and other in-person events. Recently, we’ve begun piloting ways to complement this localized approach with work to increase the effectiveness of our business voices with digital communications. Two weeks ago, we hosted our first social media training webinar, which covered the best practices on using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for education and advocacy. This week, we are launching our Renewable America Champions contest to inspire and motivate employees in the renewable energy industry to advocate for renewables using social media tools. Participants will be awarded points for sharing the ARA campaign’s messages about the economic benefits of renewables and recruiting others to do so. We will award monthly prizes and at the end of the year, we will award as our grand prize an all-expenses-paid trip to an EDP Renewables wind farm for a tour and tower climb. To join the contest and view the full set of contest rules, visit the sign-up form.
By the way, you will see that we define the renewable energy industry as including not only developers and suppliers of renewables, but also those companies that buy renewables. Although it may not be intuitive to view consumer brands such as Google, Facebook, IKEA, and Procter & Gamble as renewable energy companies, we believe that these corporate purchasers are a key part of the business network responsible for the rapid acceleration of renewable energy
to date – and will be even more critical going forward.
A RENEWABLE AMERICA – RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS
In late May, ARA and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released a report demonstrating the benefits to Ohio consumers of fixing the state’s wind turbine setback law and reinstating the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard. The report was delivered to several key Ohio legislators and the Governor’s office by our coalition of Ohio-based renewable companies including AeroTorque, Edison Solar and Wind, and Tetra Tech. The businesses met with House and Senate leadership, two of Governor Kasich’s lead policy advisors, and 11 representatives in total over the course of the day-long event. Several legislators posted about their visits on social media.In mid-June, a key Pennsylvania state legislator, legislative staff, and a network of local renewable energy business leaders assembled by ARA toured the Philadelphia Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field. In addition to locally-owned businesses, the ARA delegation included representatives from DuPont, a major purchaser of wind energy and a supplier of transformers to wind farms. The Eagles’ stadium is 100 percent powered by wind and solar energy, including an 11,000 panel on-site solar array, owned and operated by NRG Energy.
MINGLE ON THE MISSISSIPPI
WEF would like to thank the many people who made our Mingle on the Mississippi networking event and fundraiser such a success. Nearly 400 people joined the festivities on the Natchez riverboat and enjoyed a beautiful New Orleans sunset, great food and drink, and the nationally renowned Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers. The net proceeds from ticket sales and company sponsorships resulted in over $55,000 raised for advancing wind energy! Thanks especially for the in-kind support provided by AWEA and for the sponsorships from Avangrid Renewables (Platinum sponsor), Blattner Energy, Clean Line Energy, EDP Renewables, Pattern Energy, Power Engineers, Schnake Turnbo Frank, Vinson & Elkins (Gold sponsors), and Skadden Arps (Silver sponsor).