Windpower 2016 takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana from May 23-26. Windpower Monthly's blog from the event will cover events as they happen. If you are at the event, visit Windpower Monthly at stand 1111.
Louisiana is known more for its oil and natural gas industry as well as commercial fishing, chemicals and tourism than as a wind hub.
The state has no installed wind capacity, as yet, but it does have three wind-related manufacturing facilities, one of them Gulf Island Fabrication, which manufactured the five jacket foundations recently installed at the US's first offshore wind project, Block Island.
The mood at Windpower 2016 is bound to be buoyant, given the certainty of December's five-year extension of the production tax credit (PTC).
Based on registrations, figures for this event are already higher than the 6,500 attendees at Windpower 2015, according to David Ward of AWEA. It will be interesting to see how companies are positioning themselves to compete from now until 2020 and beyond.
The day ahead of the event, AWEA’s membership elected Chris Brown, president of Vestas Americas, as its new board chairman, succeeding Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy Group. Brown was interviewed by Windpower Monthly in May's issue of the magazine.
Representatives from the Warren Buffet-owned developer MidAmerican Energy, Enel Green Power North America and Duke Energy Renewables have also been elected the AWEA board.
Already, some big names have unveiled announcements for the show:
GE, the major US manufacturer, has introduced its 3.4MW turbine, adapted for the US market. GE first unveiled the 3.4MW model at the European Wind Energy Associations (EWEA) conference in Paris in 2015.
The turbine has been converted to a 60 hertz version for the US network and, as with the European market, will be available in two rotor sizes: 130-metres and 137-metres.
GE's rival Siemens announced it has won its first balance of plant (BoP) service agreement in the US.
The German manufacturer will maintain all the infrastructure at the 152MW Keenan II wind project in Oklahoma. Siemens supplied 66 2.3MW turbines to the project when it was commissioned in December 2010.
Siemens has extended its turbine service agreement to incorporate the BoP for 15 years.
Fellow major OEM Vestas has partnered with Danish control system specialist Mita-Teknik to improve output of 20-year old V47 Vestas turbines in North America. The upgrade will boost output from 660kW to 710kW and extend their life. There are approximatley 15,000 of the turbines opearting in the US.
Senvion will this week launch its 3.4M140 turbine in North America. The turbine will be available at two hub heights: 110-metres and 130-metres.
The US is a market yet to be fully tapped by Senvion. However, under new US-owners Centerbridge Partners, it is embarking on a growth strategy.
The turbine was first launched in Europe among a flurry of low-wind turbines at the Husum event in September 2015. As with GE's turbine, it has been adapted for the US' 60-hertz market.
Follow live updates from AWEA Windpower 2016 on WindpowerMonthly.com