The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) named Rep. Blumenauer (D-OR) a U.S. Wind Champion for the 115th Congress. The award ceremony is a highlight of American Wind Week, August 5 to 11, a national celebration of U.S. leadership in wind power.
The August 7 award event was hosted by Avangrid Renewables, a renewable energy company and employer in the Portland area. AWEA is presenting U.S. Wind Champion Awards to select members of the 115th Congress who have taken action in support of American wind energy.
“Wind energy powers homes, reduces carbon pollution, and creates jobs in rural communities — and the Pacific Northwest is leading the way,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “Now more than ever, we should be expanding access to clean energy sources that are affordable, efficient, and aid in our efforts to combat climate disruption. Our fight continues in Congress.”
In 2017, wind provided over 11% of Oregon’s in-state electricity production — enough to power 604,600 average homes. And an investment in wind is an investment in well-paying jobs, nearly 3,000 in Oregon.
“Wind energy’s success is a tribute to Rep. Blumenauer’s efforts on behalf of the growing number of farmers, ranchers, and their families and communities who benefit from these investments,” said Kevin Lynch, Avangrid Renewables’ managing director of external affairs. “From our headquarters in Portland, we are running a growing network of wind farms thanks to his vision.”
Wind power has also become a new cash crop for the state, with total land lease payments to farmers and ranchers between $5 to $10 million each year. There is a lot of room to grow this success story, the Department of Energy’s Wind Vision scenario projects that the state could produce enough wind energy by 2030 to power two million homes.
“Rep. Blumenauer’s commitment to expanding Oregonians’ access to affordable, renewable energy has helped make the wind industry an American success story,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “His longstanding and outspoken support for wind has delivered thousands of new jobs and other benefits to rural communities in Oregon and across the country. The American wind industry is proud to recognize Rep. Blumenauer as a Wind Champion.”
This year marks the second annual celebration of American Wind Week, following the emergence of wind as America’s largest source of renewable energy capacity in 2017. The U.S. is a global leader in wind power thanks to world-class natural resources and technological innovation. For Americans, wind power leadership translates to economic opportunity, homegrown energy, and clean air. A record 105,000 Americans work in wind power, affordably and reliably supplying over 6% of U.S. electricity, and creating clean air benefits worth more than $8 billion each year.