Community Wind and Distributed Clean Energy Awards

Windustry Presents Awards to Those Growing Community Wind and Distributed Clean Energy

Washington DC. – At the 2019 Distributed Wind Conference, Windustry presented their annual Community Wind and Distributed Clean Energy Awards.  

The three awards are selected and presented by a national Peer Group of Community Wind and Sustainable Energy Colleagues which included Alice Orrell, Pacific Northwest National Lab, WA; Tom Wind, Wind Utility Consulting, IA; Heather Rhodes-Weaver, eFormative Options, WA; Lloyd Ritter, Green Capital, DC; Mia Devine, Spark Northwest, WA; Chris Diaz, Seminole Finance, FL; Trudy Forsyth, Wind Advisors Team, CO; James Duffy, Nixon-Peabody, LLP, MA; and Lisa Daniels, Windustry, MN.

Colleagues and recipients at DWEA reception in Washington DC: (left to right) Trudy Forsyth, Wind Advisors Team; Padma Kasthurirangan, Buffalo Renewables, 2019 Innovator Award; Mike Bergey, Bergey Wind, recipient 2019 Distinguished Service Award and Jim Duffy, Nixon Peabody, LLC. Photo credit: B. Summerville

2019 Distinguished Service Award 
Windustry and its Board of Directors along with a peer group of professionals who work in Community Wind & Sustainable Energy were pleased to present the 2018 Distinguished Service in Community Wind Award to Mike Bergey, President, Bergey Wind Power in Norman, Oklahoma.

Lisa Daniels, Windustry Executive Director said, "Mike has been a man of many talents in his long career in distributed wind – from making a quality product that has been installed in a multitude of places on this planet to steadfastly garnering support for the distributed wind industry." This award is given annually to a person that has made exceptionally significant contributions, over several years, to the establishment and growth of distributed wind and locally owned renewable energy.

As a co-founder and the President of Bergey Windpower since 1987, Mike is a mechanical engineer and an internationally recognized expert in the field of small wind turbines, distributed generation, and rural electrification. He has authored more than 70 technical papers and articles on distributed wind and provided testimony to Congress, and serves as a consultant to numerous government and international agencies. He holds one patent in the wind energy field.

We are highlighting Mike’s work, as a small wind manufacturer, and all-around Ambassador for distributed wind energy. This is a critical time for the distributed wind industry, which is a vital part of the sustainable energy industry and is striving to get a handle on a swiftly changing energy market. Mike is a champion for distributed and community wind as he works with policy makers, installers, developers and other manufacturers in the US and global distributed wind markets. Mike Bergey has had a role in every aspect of the business and is very warm and welcoming to new people, young and old, working in the industry.

2019 Innovator Award
This year we are pleased to give this award to Padma Kasthurirangan. She is an engineer and partner at Buffalo Renewables. She is a University of Buffalo grad with a MS degree in Electrical Engineering, a NYSERDA eligible small wind installer and a NABCEP certified PV Installation Professional. She is a recognized expert in Distributed Generation permitting, installation and interconnection and is the most successful USDA REAP grant writer for distributed wind in the country. She serves on the board of directors of the Distributed Wind Energy Association and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Buffalo Section and is an IEEE Senior Member. When not climbing paperwork mountains or battling utilities, she enjoys climbing towers, kickboxing, biking, traveling, reading and jumping out of planes.

Padma has a well-developed sense of humor and usually walks around with a smile on her face, ready to explore the next challenge big or small. Windustry and colleagues are thrilled to honor Padma as she brings her spirited and thoughtful approach to moving distributed renewable energy forward in New York and the US.

4DBenson_and_LDaniels.jpg2019 Groundbreaking Project
This award will be presented later in March to David Benson of Bigelow, MN and a founding board member of the Community Wind South wind project in South West MN, awarded for its 10-year development process and innovative inclusive financing for the 30MW wind project. Most notable of all, David and the project team possessed the extraordinary creativity and fortitude to create an approach where the local community members could invest in the project that was in their corner of the state. About $67 million has been invested in the community to build 15 REpower MM92 2-megawatt turbines. Each turbine stands 480 feet from the base of the tower to the tip of the blade, making them the tallest turbines in the state.

This award is presented annually to an individual, group or organization that has constructed a locally based renewable energy project with a novel approach. The Community Wind South project demonstrates how David and his team worked together to overcome complex finance requirements; forged ahead with the project after multiple setbacks and revisions; and created an inclusive sustainable community project.


Windustry is a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis working locally, regionally and nationally to build a path for clean energy in all communities.

Media Contact:
Lisa Daniels, Windustry
[email protected]


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