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1 July 1999
The stolid "windsmiths" of yesteryear, who kept the turbines of California operating through thick and thin, could be about to emerge as swashbuckling, romantic symbols of the green energy movement if a new name aired at Windpower '99 catches on. Top renewables official at the Department of Energy, Dan Reicher, raised a laugh at the opening session when he suggested that "Blade Runners" was a more appropriate title for wind power field engineers now the business was receiving a high profile boost in the government's electrifying new program Wind Powering America (page 16). The term "blade runners" was coined for the cyber cops of the 1982 cult movie of the same name who hunt down murderous renegade androids-or in the case of wind energy, dodgey components or grid connections. Reicher's quip prompted a guffaw from the floor, already buoyed by the appearance of US Energy Secretary Bill Richardson.
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