Community Wind Innovator Award given in honor of the late Paul Woodin

The Windustry Board of Directors, along with a Peer Group of Community Wind Colleagues, is pleased to present the Community Wind Innovator Award in honor of the late Paul Woodin. The award was presented at the Community Wind Working Group meeting at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Windpower 2012 conference in Atlanta on June 5. Renewable Northwest Project deputy director John Audley accepted the award on Woodin’s behalf.

This award is presented to an individual who has made significant progress over the past one to two years in forging new policies, approaches, business models, or research that furthers community and distributed wind energy.  “I remember that Paul always had a Community Wind policy ‘wish list’ on the ready,” said Windustry Executive Director Lisa Daniels.

Woodin was chosen because of his originality, idealism, and fairness. He sought common ground on community renewable issues and an understanding of core challenges to advancing community wind. Woodin was executive director of Community Renewable Energy Association (CREA) of The Dalles, Ore., an intergovernmental organization with public and private sector members. CREA promotes policies at both the state and federal level that favor community renewable energy projects. These projects are defined as 20 megawatts and smaller and include locally owned geothermal, small hydro, biomass, small wind, wave energy, and other small renewable technologies. As strong supporters of community renewables, four of CREA’s seven board members are county judges and commissioners.

CREA secretary John Arens said the award was recently given to Woodin’s wife, Katie. “She was very appreciative of the recognition given to Paul and thought it was a very nice gesture of consideration that you gave to him,” Arens said.   A trained aeronautical engineer, Woodin worked for Lockheed Martin in Burbank, Calif., in the early 1970s before moving to the northwest in 1975 to work at the Martin Marietta Aluminum Plant in Goldendale. After a transfer to the Martin Marietta Aluminum Plant in Torrance, Calif., in 1979, Woodin returned to Goldendale in 1992. It was during a time of transition at the aluminum plant that the owner decided it would be worthwhile to build a wind farm, Arens said. Woodin was sent to Europe to look at wind power technology.“That’s where his expertise first developed in renewables,” Arens said. “Once that project was done, Paul started his own company, Western Wind Power, and was a consultant.” It was through that relationship that CREA began, promoting a variety of renewables in the state of Oregon. As of June 14, CREA did not have a new executive director. The board is currently taking the leadership role.

This is the second year the Community Wind Innovator Award has been given. Recipients are recognized for creative vision about implementing community and distributed wind; be immensely generous in sharing his or her time for the promotion of community and distributed wind; and have changed how we think about or perform our work.

The Windustry Board of Directors thanks the 2012 Community Wind Peer Group for the colleague nominations and selections for the awards. The 2012 Community Wind Peer Group participants were Tom Wind, Wind Utility Associates; Kevin Schulte, Sustainable Energy Developments; Jacob Susman, OwnEnergy; Larry Flowers, American Wind Energy Association; and Lisa Daniels, Windustry.

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