AWEA would like to congratulate this year’s recipient of the Technical Achievement Award: Melissa Elkinton, Head of Section, Energy Assessment at DNV GL-Energy.
Every year, the Technical Achievement Award is presented to wind resource and project energy assessment professionals and companies whose technical work and innovation have contributed to the advancement of the industry.
Over her decade-long career in the U.S. wind industry, Melissa has worked on independent site assessment, examining how much energy proposed wind projects are expected to produce. This information is vital for investors and lenders, who need accurate data to design terms of financial agreements and decide where they want to invest.
Melissa’s interest in wind power began back in her days as an engineering student at Boise State University after a friend introduced her to the topic. She followed her passion to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she received a fellowship to pursue a graduate degree in the field. Upon graduating, Melissa took a position at DNV-GL, where she’s been ever since.
Over the last 10 years, Melissa has seen the industry grow and advance, noting there’s far more sophistication today compared to when she first started. “Now there’s a lot more competition in the market, and I think that’s a good thing,” she told me.
Throughout her career, two things have stood out to Melissa: the people who work in the wind industry, and continual satisfaction that comes with problem solving. In particular, Melissa sees problem solving as an integral part of the U.S. wind industry’s future, and she sees the level of sophistication continually rising as stakeholders devise ways to better model how the market works now.
“I think people are going to continue to come up with creative solutions to keep costs down,” she told me.
Receiving the Technical Achievement Award came as a big surprise to Melissa, as she didn’t even know she was nominated until a client “spilled the beans.”
“It’s a pretty amazing crowd of smart folks,” she said. “I was very surprised and very honored. It feels great to get these kudos from a crowd of your peers.
Join us in congratulating Melissa and recognizing her contributions to the U.S. wind industry.