The American Wind Energy Association wrapped up its largest, and most successful, conference and exhibition in history, hosting more than 3,400 attendees at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. Texas is the nation’s second largest wind power production market with more than 1,095 MW of wind supplying power for the equivalent of more than 300,000 Texas homes.Austin, Texas – May 27, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Highlights of this year’s conference include: – Fifty percent growth in conference attendance: 2002 attendance totaled 2,300 delegates. 2003 attendance totaled 3,451 delegates. This rapid growth underlines the interest in wind energy from a broad spectrum of the national energy industry. The conference has tripled in size in the last two years. In addition, the exhibit hall was the largest in the industry’s history, with 166 exhibitors in 2003, up from 90 in 2002. – Release of the first-ever national study on wind development and property values: the study, conducted by the Renewable Energy Policy Project with a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, examined wind development nationally and found that large-scale wind facilities do not harm property values. For more information, view the property values release issued on May 20 at AWEA’s newsroom. – Strong support for extension of the wind energy production tax credit (PTC): the nation’s largest utility, American Electric Power of Columbus, Ohio, announced its strong support for long-term extension of the PTC to ensure stability and continued growth of the wind industry, echoing continued strong backing from the many of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers, including Vestas, NEG Micon, and LM Glasfiber. – New product lines introduced and wind projects announced: GE Wind Energy, NEG Micon, and Vestas unveiled new wind turbine product lines before and during the conference. NEG Micon also announced that it will supply turbines to a new US$62 million facility in Oklahoma that will be the largest wind farm in the state. The facility will be developed by Zilkha Renewable Energy of Houston, Texas. – Wind industry awards granted to noted political, legislative, regulatory and business leaders: recipients included Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioners Nora Mead Brownell and William Massey; U.S. Senator Dick Durbin; New York State Governor George Pataki; green power marketer Community Energy; and utilities Public Service Company of New Mexico and Hull Municipal Light Company. WINDPOWER is the annual conference and exhibition of the American wind energy industry. In 2004, Chicago will host GLOBAL WINDPOWER 2004, expected to be the largest-ever global gathering of the international wind industry. For more information, visit the AWEA Web site at the link below.