Capturing the Winds of Change: The 1st Annual Meeting of the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative

Ann Arbor, Mich. – More than 120 Great Lakes policymakers and business leaders interested in development of wind energy attended the first annual meeting of the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative, which concluded today in Buffalo, N.Y.

“The Great Lakes Wind Collaborative has the progressive vision, the talent and the entrepreneurship to advance the environmentally sustainable development of wind power,” said New York Gov. David A. Paterson. “I am confident this Great Lakes initiative will be a world leader as our binational region seeks to usher in a new era of environmental consciousness.”

The Wind Collaborative was created in 2007 to provide a forum to address issues affecting the planning, development and operation of wind power facilities in the Great Lakes region.

“The potential for wind power generation in the Great Lakes region is enormous,” said Larry Flowers, national technical director of the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Wind Powering America program. “The Great Lakes Wind Collaborative can play an important role in helping the region capture the jobs, and environmental, economic and energy security benefits that a robust, sustainable wind power future offers to the region.”

The region’s wind capacity has the potential to produce $80 billion in economic activity and 300,000 jobs for the Great Lakes region, according to recent Dept. of Energy findings.

Participants took part in a field trip to “Steel Winds” on the former site of the Bethlehem steel plant on the Buffalo waterfront, the largest urban wind farm in the United States. The meeting included breakout sessions on both the benefits and challenges of a responsible wind future, and discussed the Wind Collaborative’s near-term agenda and long-term priorities.

“The Buffalo meeting is an important first step to convene a broad group of Great Lakes stakeholders to help address siting and other challenges of developing wind-generated electric power in the region, and we were pleased at the enthusiasm and interest shown by participants,” said Tim Eder, executive director of the Great Lakes Commission. The Commission provides staff support for the Wind Collaborative.

The Wind Collaborative is reaching across multiple sectors and disciplines to identify and address the technical, environmental, regulatory, educational and financial benefits and issues related to the deployment of wind energy resources. Meeting attendees included representatives from U.S. and Canadian federal, state and provincial agencies, nongovernmental organizations, wind developers and investors, utilities, consultants, academia, and other regional stakeholders.

Presentations and photos from the meeting will be available at

Contacts: Victoria Pebbles, 734-320-2788; or Tim Eder, 734-604-7281.

For immediate release: May 7, 2008
 Christine Manninen,, office: 734-971-9135


The Great Lakes Commission, chaired by Lt. Gov. John Cherry (Mich.), is an interstate compact agency established under state and U.S. federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong economy, healthy environment and high quality of life for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region and its residents. The Commission consists of governors’ appointees, state legislators, and agency officials from its eight member states. Associate membership for Ontario and Québec was established through the signing of a “Declaration of Partnership.” The Commission maintains a formal Observer programinvolving U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities, binational agencies and other regional interests. The Commission offices are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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