While the utility-scale renewable industry wasn’t able to meet in Denver this year, that didn’t stop us from coming together for a valuable, shared experience during a challenging time. The CLEANPOWER 2020 Stronger Together Virtual Event consisted of the Clean Power Decade webinar, live streamed general sessions and unique networking opportunities.
The event kicked off on May 27th, with industry-leading consultants discussing what the decade holds for wind, solar, and storage over the next ten years. With speakers from IHS Markit, Wood Mackenzie, AWEA, and BloombergNEF, the session is worth a listen if you missed it live!
Virtual 5K run/walk & 10K bike ride
Leading up to the live streamed sessions, colleagues joined for a virtual 5K run and 10K bike ride. Many companies turned the activity into a friendly company competition. “We’re all feeling the effects of the pandemic and staying at home,” said Kaile Gurney, Senior Communications Specialist at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. “AWEA’s invitation to the CLEANPOWER virtual 5k run and 10k bike ride seemed like the perfect way to connect with our colleagues while also creating a friendly competition. Our Siemens Gamesa employees signed up as AWEA instructed. At the end of the week, we’ll select random gift card winners from our employee participants for both the 5k run and 10k ride. Even though we are working away from our colleagues, we can all stay connected and get some exercise.”
Cocktail Demo + Poster Reception
Though many of us were missing the opening reception, the virtual event still offered the opportunity to toast and connect with colleagues. AWEA President & CEO, Tom Kiernan and his wife Kathy hosted a cocktail/mocktail and appetizer demonstration. Following the demo, attendees had time to review visual poster presentations in our CLEANPOWER poster gallery while connecting with select poster authors within small virtual chat rooms to discuss their work further. You can still view the demo and browse poster presentations here.
Leaders Address the Industry
Day 1 of our live streams kicked off with AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan delivering a State of the Industry Address. Tom shared how that despite COVID-19-related economic challenges, renewables, including wind, have a bright future.
Following Tom, we welcomed the incoming AWEA Board Chair, Chris Brown, President of Vestas North America. Chris addressed the importance of updating the grid, new carbon policies, and forging market expansion. He discussed the importance of people, the people in this industry that are already changing the world. And he stressed the only way to get to 50% renewables by 2030 is to unify.
U.S. Renewable and Clean Energy Industries Set Sights on Market Majority
The first panel kicked off with CEOs from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), National Hydropower Association (NHA) & U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA). Together, these leaders shared their collective vision of renewables reaching a majority of U.S. electricity generation by 2030.
In addition, the four industries released a set of joint advocacy principles that will enable them to realize this bold vision of a majority renewables grid. Along with increased collaboration, these shared principles include building a more resilient, efficient, sustainable, and affordable grid; achieving carbon reductions; and advancing greater competition through fair market rules. Each of these areas is critical to attaining the shared vision for 2030.
The last two sessions focused on topics that everyone is talking about. Session 1, moderated by John Brodbeck, Senior Manager Transmission, at EDP Renewables North America, brought together leaders from PJM Interconnection, Kentucky Public Service Commission, Consumer Advocates of the PJM States and the Maryland Public Service Commission to discuss harmonizing state policy and RTO markets.
Session Two, moderated by Susan Nickey, Managing Director, Hannon Armstrong, focused on the state of the capital markets. Experts from Pattern Energy, BlackRock, Clearway Energy Group, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch discussed how 2020 projects are faring, how developers are managing to finance the capital stack for development pipelines and projects in 2021 and what the policy drivers are to support low cost renewable power post-election.
Community Service Project: CLEANPOWER Is In Our Blood
Each year, AWEA partners with a local organization on a community service project. Even though this year’s event was virtual, that isn’t stopping the industry from coming together for an important cause.
The Red Cross has to collect 15,000 blood donations every day to have enough blood to help patients in 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. That’s a lot of patients in need and all of us, coming together, can help ensure patients receive lifesaving blood. CLEANPOWER Is In Our Blood is an AWEA led industry blood drive running now through July 2. Make an appointment now to give blood to the American Red Cross.
CLEANPOWER 2021 in Indy!
Past exhibitors are now booking exhibition space for CLEANPOWER 2021 being held in Indianapolis, June 7 – 10. Take a look at the floor plan as it is updated daily with confirmed exhibitors. Booth reservations will open to new exhibitors on July 1, 2020. If you have any questions, please reach out to Brent Nussbaum.