Editors Desk

Windpower is back and better than ever with a larger focus on education and development.

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Having grown up on the Gulf Coast only two hours from New Orleans, I’m excited to make the trip down to the Big Easy for this year’s AWEA Windpower Conference & Exhibition May 23-26. Sure, I’m looking forward to having my fill of praline bacon and fresh-caught Gulf shrimp, but I’m most excited about spending four days with all of the industry members who have traveled near and far to attend Windpower 2016.

Last year’s show was my first wind industry event, and it was certainly one to remember between meeting so many of our readers and industry leaders and attending live demonstrations at various booths. This year, I’m looking forward to all of that and much more.

AWEA’s conference organizers have made it easier for attendees to see everything they want to over those four days with the exhibit hall and educational sessions all located at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Windpower 2016 will feature more than 100,000 square feet of exhibitor booths and an additional 32,000 square feet of space set aside for the educational programs, as well as an exhibit hall dedicated to the Department of Energy’s Collegiate Wind Competition.

Additionally, with this year’s theme being Generation Wind, the tone has shifted from past Windpower events that focused on the instability within the market to explore policy issues beyond the long-awaited five-year extension to the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) and focus on the global wind energy industry’s bright future.

Following the recent PTC extension, the U.S. wind energy industry is experiencing a major a growth spurt in terms of new wind farms being built and contracts being signed, meaning more and more companies are wanting in on the action. With this issue’s focus on Windpower 2016, I spoke with Chris Shroyer from North Dakota-based EdgeData LLC to learn more about the company’s innovative BladeEdge technology — an automated software portal that utilizes drones to analyze the condition of wind turbines through big-data collection. Founded just last year, EdgeData will be exhibiting for the first time at this year’s Windpower conference and exhibition. To learn more about BladeEdge and what it can offer your wind farm operations, stop by Booth #2719, and while you’re there, register to win your very own drone.

We’ve also included a complete list of exhibitors (and booth numbers )who will be at Windpower 2016, and we hope this comes in handy while you’re navigating the show floor.

While you’re exploring the show floor, be sure to stop by Booth #3013 to say hello to us here at Wind Systems.

As always, thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in New Orleans!