PRESS RELEASES from American Wind Energy Association
Matt Schwartz

August 13, 2011
Candidates at straw poll sign names to giant wind blade

Six GOP presidential hopefuls join leading Iowa Republicans in endorsing wind energy

AMES, Iowa, Aug. 13—GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, and Thaddeus McCotter joined Iowa’s leading Republicans and hundreds of straw poll voters in covering a 130-foot wind turbine blade with signatures at the entrance to the Iowa straw poll today.

After signing the blade, Pawlenty said he wants to fix the boom-bust cycle created for the U.S. wind energy industry by the constant threat of the Production Tax Credit’s expiring (next in 2012). “We’ve got to smooth that out,” Pawlenty said. “[L]et's have them for like 3 or 5 years, so that investors can plan, get the permits, get the approvals, get the projects done. One year at a time is too unpredictable and too short, for the people who want to expand wind energy.”
Gingrich called wind a piece of his American energy program, and said he favors a 10-year extension of the PTC, to avoid the “up-and-down effect” on renewable energy development when the policy changes. “If you’re going to have tax credits that are designed to create investment, they have to have a long enough time horizon that people who invest believe that they’ll be there,” Gingrich said.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a leader in getting the Production Tax Credit for renewable energy extended from 2003 through 2012, also signed the blade. He said that considering the U.S. currently spends $830 million a day on foreign oil, we need an “all of the above” energy strategy that includes wind.

U.S. Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa 4) credited wind energy for creating 700 manufacturing jobs at the TPI Composites wind blade plant in Newton, Iowa, which was formerly the headquarters for Maytag before those jobs moved overseas.

Steve Lockard, CEO of TPI Composites, greeted the candidates at the giant wind blade, which was made at his factory and drives turbines each capable of making power for 500-1,000 homes. Lockard said U.S. business appears to be strong through 2012, keeping 700 workers at his plant working around the clock. "There's growing concern about 2013 demand, due to the expiring tax credit," Lockard said.

Gov. Terry Branstad (R) told wind supporters last night at a pre-straw poll reception that “I never imagined how far we’d come” when he signed a state renewable energy standard in 1983, sparking an industry that now makes 20 percent of Iowa’s electricity from wind.
U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa 5), said today as he signed the blade that wind generates more electricity in his congressional district than all the electricity his district uses. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla. 20), at the straw poll to comment for the Democrats, stopped by and posed with King. She said Florida is looking forward to welcoming wind energy, too.
Also signing the blade, parked at the center of “candidates’ row” at the Iowa State Center, were Matt Strawn, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, Kraig Paulsen, speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives, and numerous other state elected officials and business leaders.

Wind industry executives staffing the blade today included Dave Drescher of Exelon, Jeff Bishop of EDP Renewables, Harold Prior, executive director of the Iowa Wind Energy Association, and Rob Gramlich, senior vice president for public policy at AWEA.

August 12, 2011
Media Advisory: Pre-straw poll media reception to honor Gov. Branstad, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday

Launched wind energy revolution now making 20 percent of Iowa’s electricity

All credentialed media are invited to a reception Friday night before the Iowa straw poll in honor of Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, whose policies in 1983 sparked the industry that now makes 20 percent of Iowa's electricity from wind.
Matt Strawn, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, will join Branstad and Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, at the wind power party, from 5:30 to 7:30 in the Iowa State Center's Scheman Building. An evening of hors d'oeuvres, drinks, music, and fun wind-related activities is planned.
Nearby, "candidates' row" has been decorated by a 130-foot wind turbine blade made in Newton, Iowa. Candidates and straw poll voters are signing their names to the blade, as Branstad will do Saturday morning at 10 am.
Branstad and Gov. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island recently led 24 governors in a letter seeking six national policies to sustain jobs, homegrown energy, and economic development from wind power, such as Iowa has enjoyed. (Full text is available at
Other state Republicans who have led Iowa's wind energy revolution include Sen. Charles Grassley, father of the Production Tax Credit for renewable energy, which for several years has helped the wind energy industry grow with stable tax rates. 

WHO:       Denise Bode, CEO, American Wind Energy Association

                  The Honorable Terry Branstad,Governor of Iowa (R)

                  Harold Prior, Executive Director, Iowa Wind Energy Association

                  Dave Drescher, Exelon

                  Shane Sterling, Availon

                  Steve Lockard, TPI Composites

                  Mark Parriot, TPI Composites

                  Jeff Bishop, EDP Renewables


WHEN:        Friday, August 12, 2011

                   5:30 – 7:30pm


WHERE:       Scheman Building

                    Iowa State Center, Ames, IA

August 11, 2011
Made in Iowa: candidates to sign huge wind turbine blade at straw poll
Blade factory created jobs in town left by Maytag

AMES, IOWA (Aug. 11, 2011) — Candidates for President and Iowa voters will have the opportunity to literally touch the economic power of wind energy at this year's presidential straw poll. TPI Composites, Inc., a leading American wind component manufacturer, will display a 130-foot-long wind turbine blade, which was made right in Iowa, at a factory in Newton.

Wind power is not only a mainstream source of electricity in Iowa, producing 20 percent of the state's electricity, but across the country as well. The American wind power industry has installed 35 percent of all new electric generating capacity since 2007.

Wind power has been a growing contributor to Iowa's economy for the last 30 years, and today, Iowa is a national leader in wind energy installations and manufacturing. The industry has spurred more than $5 billion in investment in Iowa, making it one of the state's fastest-growing sources of manufacturing jobs.

All of the Republican presidential candidates are planning to sign the blade during the run-up to Saturday's straw poll, and the general public can sign it as well. In addition, Gov. Terry Branstad, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, U.S. Reps. Tom Latham and Steve King, and a host of other Republican Iowa elected officials plan to put their pens to the Iowa-made wind blade. The TPI blade is located next to the American Wind Power tent.

"Today wind turbines are almost as much a part of Iowa's fabric as corn," said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. "Thanks to over 20 years of sound policy, wind power now comprises over 20 percent of the electricity powering the Hawkeye State, and the people of Iowa are glad it's here. A recent statewide poll showed that 81 percent of Iowa voters believe the growth of the wind industry has been good for Iowa's economy, and they would pick wind over any other power source by more than 3-to-1.

"And just as wind power has arrived in Iowa, it has arrived right here in Ames this week—in the form of a TPI Composites blade. We thank TPI Composites and General Electric for sharing this product with the presidential candidates, with attendees of the straw poll, and with America."

The TPI Composites factory in Newton, Iowa, is just one of many wind energy facilities in the state: Iowa has over 200 wind-related businesses in 55 counties. The blade on display at the straw poll was constructed by a team of 700 people and uses the same design as many of the blades currently generating power throughout the state, whose wind farms total 3,675 MW in capacity. General Electric is a major customer for TPI's blades.

Where other manufacturing industries have failed, wind power has succeeded. Newton, in fact, was once home to a Maytag plant that closed its doors and moved overseas in 2006. A portion of the Maytag facility is now occupied by another wind power supply chain member, Trinity Structural Towers. And TPI Composites is now providing well-paying U.S. jobs ranging from construction labor to aerospace design.

Thanks to the leadership of Gov. Branstad in 1983, Iowa enacted the nation's first renewable energy standard, which required Iowa's major utilities to include renewables in their portfolios, thus establishing a market for wind power so that the industry had the stability that would allow it to grow roots. Today, with a stable renewable policy in place for almost 30 years, Iowa has been able to take advantage of the economic benefits of wind energy such as job creation and manufacturing growth, new tax revenue for rural areas that need it, and land lease payments to farmers and landowners.

August 10, 2011
Iowa Straw Poll to shine spotlight on the economic power of wind
Wind now generates 20 percent of Iowa's electricity

AMES, IOWA, Aug. 10 – As the nation's eyes turn to the Hawkeye State for this weekend's Iowa Straw Poll in the Republican presidential race, they will catch a glimpse of what wind power has already done for Iowans—from providing 20 percent of the state's electricity to creating a new manufacturing sector—and what wind power can do for America.

Gov. Terry Branstad (R-Iowa) and other state officials will join the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) in sharing wind's powerful message this week in Ames: wind works for Iowa, which has become a national leader since adopting the first renewable electricity standard in 1983.

What's telling about Iowa is that these people who know wind power the best are big fans of the clean, renewable energy source. A full 81 percent of Iowa voters believe that the growth of the wind industry has been good for Iowa's economy, according to a recent poll by GOP pollster Neil Newhouse. Further, Iowa voters chose wind, by a 3-to-1 margin, as their preferred energy source to power their state.

"With Iowa standing tall as the first state to produce 20 percent of its electricity with wind power, the Straw Poll is a terrific opportunity to share the power of wind to support local economies as well as generate clean energy," said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. "Iowa is reaping the economic benefits of being a wind power leader because it had the foresight to plant a seed over 20 years ago with the implementation of strong, sound policy. Iowa is showing the nation how it can be done."

Gov. Branstad, who in his first year as governor in 1983 signed the nation's first renewable energy standard, will speak on Friday evening at a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 for the hundreds of members of the media credentialed to cover the Straw Poll.

Branstad returned to the Iowa governorship in January to find an industry transformed, and one that now helps anchor the state's economy. Thanks to the policy seeds he planted, over 200 wind-related businesses now operate in 55 Iowa counties adding over $5 billion to the Iowa economy.

In 2010 alone, wind farm owners paid $16.5 million in property taxes and an additional $11 million in land lease payments to property owners.

Thus, Iowa illustrates for the rest of America the breadth of economic benefits from wind: manufacturing activity, tax revenue for rural areas that often need it most, and steady revenue streams for farmers, who operate in a notoriously high-risk business environment.

Branstad is not Iowa's only trailblazing public official in the area of wind power. On Capitol Hill, fellow Republican U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley is credited with being instrumental in the development of the federal Production Tax Credit for renewable energy, which was established in the 1990s and continues to be the key financial policy driver for the wind industry to this day (in spite of being extended in only in short-term increments through the years). Today, Iowans are highly familiar with wind power, and the industry enjoys strong bipartisan support.

AWEA is the national trade association of America's wind industry, with more than 2,500 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and the world's largest wind power trade show. AWEA is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America. Look up information on wind energy at the AWEA Web site. Find insight on industry issues at AWEA's blog Into the Wind. Join AWEA on Facebook. Follow AWEA on Twitter.