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This is a guest post from Peter Lukens, Chair of the AWEA Environmental, Health, and Safety O&M Working Group. The working group develops operating guidelines, training modules, and support materials for the safe and healthful operations and maintenance of the wind industry. Peter is the Project Manager, Training, for Siemens Gamesa and has worked in wind for 11 years, holding various roles in manufacturing, quality, operations & maintenance, training, and environmental, health, and safety.

Temperatures are heating up across the country this summer, and being aware of heat-related illnesses is critical to working safely on a wind farm. According to OSHA, workers exposed to hot indoor environments or hot and humid conditions outdoors are at risk of heat-related illness, especially those doing heavy work tasks or using bulky or non-breathable protective clothing and equipment.

Heavy sweating, dizziness, thirst, and muscle spasms are just a few of the warning signs that you are experiencing a heat-related illness. When working in hot temperatures, focus on prevention strategies:

  • Do start your workday hydrated. Start your hydration the night before.
  • Do use the buddy system. Act quickly if a co-worker shows signs of illness.
  • Don’t ignore the warning signs.
  • Don’t think heat-related illness won’t happen to you!

To help workers best understand the signs and how to prevent them, the AWEA EHS O&M Working Group has created three awareness materials: a reference card, training manual, and a heat awareness and tracking plan. These materials will help you understand all the signs of heat-related illness, how to prevent them, and what to do if you are experiencing any of the symptoms. You can access these materials here.

Stay cool, stay hydrated, and stay safe.

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As we close out #AmericanWindWeek, it’s been thrilling to see towns, communities, local leaders and wind industry workers gather across the country to celebrate wind power.

Importantly, Fortune 500 companies and business leaders also showed up. Corporate purchasers of wind voiced their support nationwide, touting the economic and environmental benefits that wind power brings to their customers and organizations.

And there’s quite a lot to celebrate. Corporate and other non-utility customers have procured more than 10,000 megawatts (MW) of wind power to date, including more than 9,700 MW in power purchase agreements (PPA) through the second quarter of this year. That’s more than Oklahoma’s installed wind capacity, the country’s number two wind state.

Let’s look first to Cummins. One year ago, the global manufacturer signed a 75 MW PPA with the Meadow Lake Wind Farm located in Indiana. Cummins is purchasing enough wind power from Meadow Lake to power approximately 20,000 average Indiana homes. To celebrate their one-year anniversary, Cummins employees toured the wind project construction site.

“This is a big moment for us,” said Mark Dhennin, Cummins’ Director of Energy and Environment. “This is a huge part of our energy sustainability plan at Cummins and it was really important to do it right, with the right project, in the right location, with the right developer.” Cummins visited the construction site on Crane Day, an opportunity for the public to see cranes erect state-of-the-art wind turbines.

What does an engine company like @Cummins have to do with a wind farm? See how we're helping the Meadow Lake Wind Farm in NW Indiana create enough green energy to cover all the power we use in the Hoosier state. #AmericanWindWeek https://t.co/5IQX2utiK0

— Cummins Inc. (@Cummins) August 10, 2018

Microsoft also used #AmericanWindWeek as a chance to look back on its five-year journey purchasing renewable energy. The technology giant signed its first wind contract in 2013, purchasing 110 MW from the Keechi wind project in Texas. Since that time, Microsoft has grown its global renewable energy portfolio to more than 1,200 MW, with more than half of that total coming from wind.

“This is a win-win-win story, as new wind projects generate clean power and new jobs and economic growth in communities from coast to coast, and every state in between, all while lowering the carbon footprint of the U.S,” wrote Brian Janous, General Manager of Energy & Sustainability at Micrsoft, in a blog post celebrating American Wind Week.

Others got involved in #AmericanWindWeek through social media. In particular, AT&T wind PPA announcements total 820 MW in 2018 alone, with the company purchasing power from four different wind farms in Oklahoma and Texas.

Want to have a FAN-tastic week? Join @ATT by celebrating #AmericanWindWeek. https://t.co/4keESWABMR pic.twitter.com/ulZxUcX78V

— AT&T Impact (@ATTimpact) August 8, 2018

#AmericanWindWeek coincided with a historic announcement this week that Apple, Akamai, Etsy and Swiss Re are partnering together to purchase 290 MW from planned wind and solar projects in Illinois and Virginia, respectively. Aggregating demand can help smaller demand customers access renewable energy projects with economies of scale.

Just last week, Smuckers announced a 60 MW PPA with a planned Nebraska wind project; the following day, Facebook announced its most recent 139 MW PPA with the Headwaters II Wind Farm in Randolph County, Indiana.

Thank you again to everyone for participating in #AmericanWindWeek!

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This is a guest post from Anne Reynolds, Executive Director for the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACENY).

We’re almost through the 2nd annual American Wind Week (August 5th-11th)! Supporters of wind energy across the U.S. launched American Wind Week last year when wind power became the country’s largest source of renewable energy capacity. Today, that leadership is growing with a record amount of wind power under construction at wind farms across America.

U.S. wind leadership

We can keep our lead in wind power because inexhaustible wind energy is a resource the U.S. can always harness. A typical new wind turbine in the U.S. can power the equivalent of more than 750 average homes. U.S. wind turbines are the most productive among countries with the highest levels of installed wind power, like China and Germany.

 Wind works for all Americans

Wind power generates economic opportunity, homegrown energy, and clean air from sea to shining sea. Across the nation a record 105,000 Americans work in wind power, affordably and reliably supplying over 6 percent of U.S. electricity. In fact, wind turbine technicians and solar installers are the nation’s two fastest growing jobs according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

From farming communities to factory towns, wind power brings new investment and new revenue to improve schools, roads and emergency services. Wind power is America’s newest cash crop, paying over $267 million dollars a year to farmers and ranchers who lease part of their land for wind turbines. And using wind energy created $8 billion in public health savings during 2017 alone, by avoiding air pollution that creates smog and triggers asthma attacks.

New York wind energy

For America’s Wind Week, we recognize that New York State is in on the wind power trend, ranking 14th in the country for installed capacity of wind energy. The Empire State has 1,052 towers spinning now (27 projects) and 148 megawatts (MW) under construction. Our biggest wind farm is Maple Ridge, with 195 turbines, and the newest is Arkwright Summit, located in Chautauqua County with 36 new turbines. In the Town of Denmark, the Copenhagen Wind Project is now under construction and should be making its own pollution-free energy by November 2018. New York’s wind energy needs to grow to achieve the 2030 goal of 50 percent renewable energy, and beyond.

Visit AmericanWindWeek.org to learn more about wind power.

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In the race for offshore wind leadership playing out up and down the east coast, New Jersey just made a big move—the Garden State’s Board of Public Utilities has approved the country’s largest single offshore wind solicitation. The Board is seeking 1,100 megawatts (MW) of new offshore wind capacity.

Since taking office earlier this year, Gov. Phil Murphy has made offshore wind development a major priority.

“In the span of just nine months, New Jersey has vaulted to the front of the pack in establishing this cutting-edge industry,” he said. “We campaigned on rebuilding New Jersey’s reputation as a clean energy leader, and that involves setting an aggressive timetable on offshore wind. Thanks to the board, today we took another enormous step toward realizing that goal with the largest single-state solicitation of offshore wind in the country.”

Besides clean energy, New Jersey’s move to bring offshore wind energy to its shores also means new jobs for its residents.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if, down the road, we see wind turbine manufacturers relocating or having satellite facilities in New Jersey,” said board President Joseph L. Fiordaliso.

In fact, a recent study found the East Coast’s current offshore wind commitments could create nearly 40,000 full-time jobs by 2028, and building an offshore wind project requires 74 different occupation types, according to the Workforce Development Institute.

New Jersey’s announcement continues a 2018 trend of exciting news for American offshore wind power. There’s been encouraging news from North Carolina up through Massachusetts as this new ocean energy resource begins to take shape. Look for this good news to continue in the months ahead.