American Wind Wildlife Institute Marks 10th Anniversary with a Celebration of Scientists and a New Video

Pattern Energy Stories

November 30, 2018

The American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI) marked the 10th anniversary of its founding by releasing a new documentary short video showing pioneers of the organization and leading conservation figures who are committed to sustainable wind power and investing in research to address effects of wind energy on wildlife.

The five-minute documentary starts with dramatic aerial footage from a camera strapped to the back of a golden eagle (eagle-friendly filming done in collaboration with a raptor rehabilitation center).

The video had its premiere at an AWWI-hosted celebratory dinner during the biennial National Wind Coordinating Collaborative (NWCC) Wind Wildlife Research Meeting at the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel in Saint Paul, Minn., where an audience of 400 wind and wildlife researchers, regulators, conservationists, and industry experts gathered this week to share science and solutions for making wind energy safer for wildlife.

“This collaboration, and results AWWI is now producing, are only possible through the investment and support we receive from all our partners and friends,” said Abby Arnold, Executive Director of AWWI. “Building on this foundation, we need to make even more rapid progress to develop and deploy conservation strategies so that wind energy can meet its full potential in the U.S. and worldwide while conserving species.”

“It’s responsible stewardship, to shepherd a clean energy future. Not only for wildlife, but for us as well,” says Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, in the documentary.

“That’s what this is all about,” says Mike Garland, President and CEO of Pattern Energy. “We’re trying to make a better future for ourselves, and our children, and their children.”

AWWI was founded in 2008 by leaders from the wind industry and conservation and science organizations with the vision of achieving wind energy’s full conservation potential through sound science and collaboration. 2018 marks a milestone for the organization, which released several new publications this year on wind-wildlife interactions, showing a critical advancement in knowledge and approaches from 10 years ago. A collection of a dozen additional short video interviews with the founders may be seen here as they tell, in their words, the story of AWWI’s genesis, and the vision, importance, and impact of AWWI’s historic partnership.

The 10th anniversary documentary video was produced for AWWI by Ground Media of Washington, D.C. It features interviews with experts and leaders from industry, conservation groups, and government agencies (in order of appearance):

  • Laura Nagy, Director of Permitting and Environmental Affairs, Avangrid Renewables
  • Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO, Defenders of Wildlife
  • Collin O’Mara, President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation
  • David O’Neill, Chief Conservation Officer, National Audubon Society
  • Jim Murphy, Senior Counsel, National Wildlife Federation
  • James Walker, Senior Advisor, Political and Policy Strategy, EDF Renewables
  • Mike Azeka, Director, Environmental Strategy, EDF Renewables
  • Garry George, Renewable Energy Director, National Audubon Society
  • Mike Garland, President and CEO, Pattern Energy
  • Ron Regan, Executive Director, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
  • Abby Arnold, Executive Director, AWWI
  • Taber Allison, Director of Research and Evaluation, AWWI
  • Tim Hayes, Environmental Director, Duke Energy Renewables

Also at the Research Meeting in Saint Paul, it was announced that 26 companies in the U.S. wind power industry have signed up so far to participate in a new multi-million-dollar fund to facilitate research on how wind turbines interact with wildlife, and speed development and deployment of innovative solutions. The new Wind Wildlife Research Fund will be housed within AWWI.