The Wind Coalition announced the selection of new leadership, including a new president and vice president, among five executive committee members that will help guide the coalition's efforts in the South Central U.S.
"Wind energy is the fastest growing sector of the energy economy, responsible for tens of thousands of jobs, billions in investment, and a cleaner and more diverse fuel mix," said Jeff Clark, executive director of The Wind Coalition. "Our new leadership is focused on the challenges posed by the recent recession, shrinking budgets and fierce competition. We believe wind energy is an important part of America's energy portfolio, serving as a hedge against the fluctuating price of fossil fuels while creating jobs and economic development in rural communities."
Members of The Wind Coalition chose Kevin Gresham of E.ON Climate and Renewables North America as its president, Matt Langley of Infinity Wind as its vice president, Thresa Allen of Iberdrola Renewables as its ERCOT chair, Tim Conboy of Acciona Energy as its Southwestern Power Pool chair, and Vanessa Kellogg of EDP as its treasurer and secretary.
"Wind works for several reasons, not the least of which is it creates downward pressure on rates," said Gresham. "Studies show wind energy contributes to controlling the cost of electricity, demonstrating the importance of a diverse fuel mix as prices change. Our goal is not to replace vast sources of electricity like natural gas, but work hand-in-hand with all fuel sources to offer clean, home grown and affordable power to Texas consumers."
Wind power represents 8.5 percent of the market share in Texas. In states like Kansas and Oklahoma, installed capacity has grown in recent years, and provides both states another commodity they can export just like the crops grown on the ground, and the energy resources found below ground.
"We can harvest the wind like we harvest cotton, corn and wheat in the Central U.S.," said Clark. "Keeping tax and regulatory policies in place that provide incentives for the development of wind energy is not only a good long-term investment, but a quick way to revitalize rural economies."
The Wind Coalition is active in eight states: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico and Missouri. The south central wind corridor has the potential to serve as a "central nervous system" of electricity generation to provide power to the rest of the nation.
The following provides more information on newly elected board members:
Kevin Gresham, E.ON Climate and Renewables
Kevin Gresham, VP external affairs for E.ON Climate & Renewables North America, LLC, (EC&R) has more than 30 years of electric industry experience. Mr. Gresham directs EC&R's governmental relations, federal and state regulatory activities, and public affairs across the U.S. He also serves as the ERCOT board independent generator segment board member and as a member of the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association board of directors. In addition, he also serves on The Wind Coalition's executive committee currently as vice president and participates in the American Wind Energy Association's legislative and transmission committees. Gresham also chairs the AWEA state policy central region caucus.
Gresham previously served on the ERCOT Technical Advisory Committee and chaired the ERCOT Protocol Revision Subcommittee for 9 years. He has been very active in ERCOT market development since the late 1990s including the design of the current ERCOT nodal market.
Matt Langley, Infinity Wind Power
Matt Langley is the director of business development for Infinity Wind Power. In that role, he is responsible for Infinity's commercial activities, including power marketing, financing and mergers and acquisitions. Matt joined the company in early 2012. Prior to Infinity, Matt was in a similar role at juwi Wind, LLC, where he completed several acquisitions and developed juwi's market entry strategy for the Canadian market.
Prior to juwi, Matt worked for Clipper Windpower Development, focusing on project sales and power marketing.
Thresa Allen, Iberdrola Renewables, Manager Market Structure
Thresa Allen is a manager of market structure for Iberdrola Renewables with a primary focus on the ERCOT and Northeast power markets (NYISO, and ISO-NE). She is the primary point of reference for Iberdrola Renewables with respect to market-specific operational and tariff-related items, specifically as they relate to wind asset management and wind integration within those regions.
Thresa joined Iberdrola Renewables in 2004. Prior to joining Iberdrola Renewables Inc., she was with Enron and UBS Warburg Energy from 1990 to 2003. During her 13 years at Enron / UBS Warburg she was responsible for natural gas scheduling and various power positions such as power pre-scheduling for the Northeast and ERCOT regions.
Tim Conboy, Acciona
Tim started working in the wind industry in 2004 as managing director at Adirondack Wind Partners, where he managed the initial development of a utility scale community wind project. He joined Acciona Energy in 2006 and, through February 2012, managed the development, acquisition and divestment of wind projects in the eastern U.S.
In February 2012, he became Acciona Energy's director of government affairs. In this role, he leads the government affairs and industry relations activities for the company's renewable energy business in the U.S. He has been active in The Wind Coalition, AWEA's state policy sub-committee, AWEA's public affairs committee, Wind on the Wires and other collaborative efforts to advance the industry.
Vanessa Kellogg, EDP Renewables
Vanessa Kellogg, director of governmental affairs for EDP Renewables, has been actively involved in the Wind Coalition since 2005, and served as a member of the Executive Committee from 2008 through 2011. In her current role, she is responsible for both legislative and regulatory policy within both SPP and ERCOT.
She has worked closely with her industry and NGO counterparts throughout the south-central region of the U.S. to help ensure that wind power interests are preserved and protected.