Kevin Schulte and Jacob Susman given Inaugural Community Wind Innovator Award

Windustry is pleased to announce the establishment and presentation of the Community Wind Innovator Award, which is to be given annually to an individual who has made significant progress over the past two years in forging ahead with new policies, new approaches, new business models or new research to further community and distributed wind energy. This person's ideas and efforts have changed how we think about or perform our work. 

The recipient of this award:

  • has creative vision about implementing community and distributed wind;
  • is immensely generous in sharing his/her time for the promotion of community and distributed wind;
  • is a person of great heart.

Many thanks to peer group: Dan Turner, Windustry; Sue Jones, Community Energy Partners; Larry Flowers, AWEA; Lisa Daniels, Windusry, along with the Windustry Board of Directors for helping to establish the criteria and awardees for this award.

It is our pleasure to announce two inaugural recipients of this award: Kevin Schulte, CEO of Sustainable Energy Developments and Jacob Susman, CEO of OwnEnergy.


Dan Turner, Windustry; Lisa Daniels, Windustry; Tom Wind, Wind Utility Consulting; Kevin Schulte, Sustainable Energy Developments; Sue Jones, Community Energy Partners; Larry Flowers, AWEA (Jacob Susman not in photo)

Kevin Schulte, CEO and founder of Sustainable Energy Developments in Ontario, NY

Over the past few years Kevin has been instrumental in giving voice to many of the issues and market challenges facing the installation of distributed generation of wind turbines of any size from small to midsize to large commercial machines.

He is a leading voice and active participant on several working committees, being:

  • active in the formation of DWEA and President Elect for 2012;
  • current Chair of the AWEA Community Wind Steering Committee for the Community Wind Committee;
  • an invited member of the NREL Technical Advisory Board;
  • newly elected to the Alliance for Clean Energy of New York board.

 Kevin and SED are working to install distributed wind turbines of all izes throughout the Northeast region. He has created new markets with projects for a diverse collection of entities including municipalities, schools, and ski resorts.

He is working not only on the application of wind technology, but also on business models and relevant policy, such as federal permitting guidelines with US Fish and Wildlife.

Larry Flowers of AWEA noted "Kevin's boundless passion and personal energy for a clean energy future through distributed and community wind is inspiring."

Jacob Susman, CEO and founder of OwnEnergy, Brooklyn, NY 

Jacob Susman has been effective at both the state and federal levels in advancing the Community Wind agenda. He has effectively engaged with US Senator Franken's staff in developing the Community Wind Investment Tax Credit legislation that was introduced into the Senate on Oct 21. 2011, and organized the campaign to sign up 230 stakeholders from more than 30 states to sign-on and support the Franken-Tester legislation. He was program co-chair of the first Distributed Wind/Community Wind conference, was the first chair of the Community Wind Steering Committee and is currently the Community Wind advisor to the AWEA board.

Jacob has ten years of investing and business development experience in the field of renewable energy. He has led OwnEnergy since its inception, including recruiting and managing the team, raising capital, establishing the brand, sourcing new business, developing projects and generating revenue. Jacob is a member of the Leadership Council of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). In 2010, Jacob was named to Crains New York's '40 Under 40'.

"Jacob has been an inspirational leader in forging ahead and leading us forward on the first federal community wind legislation in the US," stated a colleague, Sue Jones, of Community Energy Partners. Jones also said "Jacob has razor-like focus and his determination in achieving his goals." 

Lisa Daniels, Windustry, remarked, "We are extremely pleased to recognize Jacob for his leadership and hard work over the past two years on developing policies to enable Community Wind to move forward."

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