About the Wind Energy Foundation

 

The Wind Energy Foundation (WEF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the transition to renewable energy in the United States as a means of strengthening the nation’s economic and environmental health. WEF focuses on research, communication, and advocacy that raises awareness of the benefits of renewable energy and the need for energy and infrastructure policies that recognize and reward those benefits.

 

WEF’s campaigns and programs recruit, train, and mobilize leaders from the wind industry, other renewable energy sectors, and the broader community of supporters to deliver personalized messages to decision makers about how renewable energy is helping to improve our economy and environment.

 

A Renewable America, WEF’s largest campaign, takes a multi-sector approach to communicating the economic success story of renewable energy. Working with the American Wind Energy Association, the Solar Energy Industry Association, and leading wind and solar companies, we organize tours of wind and solar projects and manufacturing facilities that supply the industries, organize business leader roundtables, and hold a host of other events that bring together company executives, their employees, and supply chain company leaders to meet with key decision makers. We deliver messages about the large-scale private investment, added tax revenue, land-lease income, and job creation that renewable energy is delivering to their communities and amplify these messages in earned media and social media. A key part of this work is the “Renewable Energy Jobs Tour,” where our team is currently operating in ten states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas.

 

The “Grid Campaign,” a new part of A Renewable America launched in spring 2018, is focused on accelerating deployment of renewable energy by shaping market rules, utility procurements, and transmission planning. Its initial focus is in four key regions with three critical Regional Transmission Operators / Independent System Operators (RTO/ISOs) and a host of important Public Utility Commissions:

 

  • Texas, focusing primarily on influencing RTO/ISO reforms and the Public Utility Commission of Texas;
  • The Midwest, focusing primarily on influencing RTO/ISO reforms;
  • The Mid-Atlantic, focusing primarily on influencing RTO/ISO reforms;
  • New Mexico, focusing primarily on the NM Public Regulation Commission.

 

Electric Nation: Powered by Wind is WEF’s social media campaign, focused on activating the many wind energy supporters currently sitting on the sidelines of the national energy debate. By creating a vibrant, online community, Electric Nation is helping supporters educate their friends and families about the many benefits and importance of accelerating the United States’ transition to this clean, homegrown source of electricity.

 

Executive Director

 

John Kostyack
John Kostyack

Executive Director
Wind Energy Foundation

John Kostyack arrived at the Wind Energy Foundation (WEF) to serve as its Executive Director in September 2014. Since then, he has worked with the Foundation board of directors and a team of staff and consultants to craft a strategy for accelerating renewable energy deployment in the U.S.  During his tenure, WEF has recruited, trained and activated hundreds of inspiring people from the companies that develop, build, operate and buy power from renewable energy projects as well as those from the communities that most directly benefit from the resulting jobs and economic development.

 

John is an attorney with roughly 30 years of experience in the government, private, and nonprofit sectors. Before arriving at WEF, Kostyack worked for 20 years at the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) at the nexus of climate change, energy, and wildlife conservation policy. While serving as Vice President at the NWF, Kostyack helped develop and lead a host of policy advocacy campaigns. Among other things, he worked closely with reinsurance industry leaders and others to advance nature-friendly solutions for communities grappling with climate change impacts. He also served on the board of directors of the American Wind Wildlife Institute, working with wind industry leaders and others to find responsible ways to site and operate wind turbines.

 

In previous posts at the NWF, Kostyack conceived and led the first national conference on climate-smart conservation and helped establish NWF as a recognized leader in that field. He oversaw NWF’s wildlife advocacy before Congress, the federal agencies and the courts, became a well-known expert on endangered species policy, and helped to win Congressional enactment of federal tax incentives for landowners contributing to recovery of endangered species. John also won several landmark cases enforcing wildlife and wetlands protection law, and represented wildlife conservation groups in Massachusetts vs. EPA, the first-ever global warming case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

Director, Public Affairs

 

Kevin O'Rourke
Kevin O'Rourke

Director, Public Affairs
Wind Energy Foundation

Kevin O’Rourke joined the Wind Energy Foundation as the Director of Public Affairs in 2016, after serving as a consultant on the A Renewable America campaign since its inception in the fall of 2013. Kevin is an attorney with significant public affairs experience, having previously consulted for the American Wind Energy Association, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, Ceres, Climate Nexus, the Solar Foundation, and other leading clean energy and environmental organizations.

 

Prior to consulting in D.C., O’Rourke was a legislative assistant at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. O’Rourke is a graduate of Vermont Law School.

Program Associate

 

Charles Harper
Charles Harper

Program Associate
Wind Energy Foundation

Charles Harper joined the Wind Energy Foundation as the Program Associate in 2018. Prior to joining WEF, he interned at several organizations, including the State Department’s climate office, the Center for American Progress, and the New York State Assembly.

 

Harper graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Environmental Engineering and Political Science.

 

Consultants

 

GRID Strategies LLC
GRID Strategies LLC

Consultant
website

Grid Strategies LLC is a strategic consulting and advocacy firm helping clients with the integration of clean energy into the electric grid. Rob Gramlich and Michael Goggin draw on their extensive experience to analyze, research, and advocate grid integration solutions.  Based in the Washington DC area, they engage with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Department of Energy, state Public Utility Commissions, Regional Transmission Organizations, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), Congressional committees, the administration, and various stakeholders.

 

David Gardiner and Associates
David Gardiner and Associates

Consultant
website

David Gardiner and Associates (DGA) is a strategic advisory firm focused on climate change, clean energy, and sustainability. DGA helps clients develop their strategies, conduct research and analysis, and improve their communications through writing expertise, partnership building, and advocacy. DGA has worked extensively with the Wind Energy Foundation on strategic planning, communications campaigns, and research and reports, including the recentreport Transmission Upgrades and Expansion: Keys to Meeting Large Customer Demand for Renewable Energy,as well as the corporate sign-on letter to FERC and the A Renewable America Campaign. Other clients include non-profit advocacy organizations, foundations, trade associations, clean energy companies, and corporations committed to sustainability.

 

TXP, Inc.
TXP, Inc.

Consultant
website

Founded in 1987, TXP, Inc. is an Austin, Texas based economic analysis and public policy consulting firm that crafts customized solutions to client problems. TXP regularly partners with urban planning, engineering, and public policy firms — as well as Ph.D.s in varying disciplines — to put together teams uniquely suited to our clients’ needs. TXP is producing a report for WEF’s A Renewable America campaign quantifying the economic benefits of wind and solar energy development in Texas.

 

Robin Pressman
Robin Pressman

Robin Pressman, Principal at Pressman Consulting, manages the A Renewable America Jobs Tour for the Wind Energy Foundation and has consulted with the ARA campaign since 2014. Since 2003, Pressman has previously managed political campaigns, conducted polling and message development, designed and run field operations, planned and implemented issue advocacy programs and helped organizations set and meet goals.

 

Prior to opening Pressman Consulting, Robin Pressman served as Senior Associate at the polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, (GQR). At GQR Pressman provided message development, targeting and polling expertise to dozens of campaigns, including Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico and U.S. Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota. At GQR, Pressman also advised numerous non-profit clients such as the League of Conservation Voters, Oceana, and the Nevada Tobacco Prevention Coalition. She previously served as field director for the National Environmental Trust and has also worked with issue groups such as Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and NARAL Pro-Choice America where she designed, managed, and conducted grassroots and political independent expenditure campaigns.

 

Colin Delaney
Colin Delaney

Consultant
Epolitics.com

Colin Delany is the lead consult on WEF’s Electric Nation: Powered by Wind campaign and is a twenty-year veteran of internet politics, a digital strategist, the founder/editor of Epolitics.com (an award-winning website that focuses on the tools and tactics of online politics and digital advocacy) and a columnist for Campaigns & Elections. Delany is a sought-after speaker on topics related to digital advocacy, social media, online communications and internet politics. He has given presentations at conferences from South by Southwest Interactive to Netroots Nation and at universities including Harvard and the London School of Economics. He was also honored as one of “Ten Who Are Changing the World of Politics and the Internet” at the 2010 World E-Gov Forum in Paris. Before starting his strategy practice, Delany worked in Texas Legislature, participated in the Dot-Com Boom and served as the online communications director at both the National Environmental Trust and the National Women’s Law Center.

 

Letter from the Executive Director

I cannot imagine a more exciting time to be leading the Wind Energy Foundation. Within our sights is a better future, a world powered by clean, abundant and low-cost renewable energy.

 

For a host of economic and environmental reasons, individuals, companies, and governments today are demanding that their electricity come from renewable sources. And thanks to technological innovations, the renewable energy sectors are now able to deliver reliable electricity at low cost and at a massive scale. To get a sense of the scale of this clean energy revolution, consider this: the wind industry alone has invested $145 billion in U.S. wind projects over the last decade, resulting in $267 million in annual lease payments to landowners and over 105,000 jobs, including more than 23,000 in manufacturing.

 

The United States is fortunate to have abundant wind, solar, and other renewable resources and dynamic companies ready to bring these resources to the electricity grid. But our country lacks the federal and state policies needed to spur clean energy investments at the pace and scale we will need to meet the urgent threat of climate change.

 

In 2014, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that continued inaction on climate change will lead to a breakdown in food systems, more violent conflicts, and a host of other disruptions to our economy and quality of life. Fortunately, it also said that a livable climate can be preserved by keeping average temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and that achieving this target can be done at relatively low cost — if carbon stabilization measures are enacted quickly. In contrast, a 2014 report by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors shows why postponing action makes no economic sense: it found that delaying climate policies to the point where average global temperatures rise 3° Celsius above preindustrial levels — as opposed to the internationally agreed-upon limit of 2 degrees Celsius — could increase economic damages by approximately 0.9 percent of global output. A 0.9 percent decrease in Gross Domestic Product would amount to approximately $150 billion in annual losses in the United States alone. Stated simply, acting now is far less costly that postponing the inevitable shift to renewable energy sources.

 

Role of the Wind Energy Foundation

The Wind Energy Foundation educates the American public and decision makers about the host of economic and environmental benefits that we will realize if we accelerate the transition to an economy powered by wind and solar energy. Launched by leaders of the U.S. wind energy industry in 2011, the Wind Energy Foundation’s focus and expertise is with mobilizing business leaders and industry experts to deliver these important messages.

 

Why business leaders? First, we need their knowledge and experience to inform the debate over our nation’s energy future. Those opposed to the transition to renewable energy have mounted a large-scale public relations campaign based on misleading claims that such a transition would threaten U.S. jobs and the economy. Business leaders knowledgeable about renewable energy can put these myths to rest.

 

Second, we need the personal relationships and compelling stories that business leaders bring with them. Perhaps the most important insight I have gained in my thirty years of advocating for natural resources conservation and sustainable energy is that facts alone do not sway decision makers or the American public. Relationships and stories are ultimately what change people’s hearts and minds.

 

On the question of renewable energy’s value and viability, the most powerful messengers are often those local business leaders who are delivering jobs and investments in our communities. The Wind Energy Foundation helps connect these leaders and their stories with decision makers and the broader public and helps them to become more effective in advancing the cause of renewable energy.

 

How You Can Get Involved

In 2018, the Wind Energy Foundation is deploying business leaders and industry experts to advocate in favor of renewable energy across the U.S. in our  A Renewable America campaign. On our Renewable Energy Jobs Tour, we are organizing events celebrating wind and solar farm openings, manufacturing plant expansions, and other jobs milestones to highlight the economic benefits of renewable energy development. To learn more about this campaign, visit https://www.arenewableamerica.org/events. To request to host a Jobs Tour event, please send us an email at info@windenergyfoundation.org.

 

In our Grid Campaign, we are focused on accelerating deployment of renewable energy by shaping market rules, utility procurements, and transmission planning. Look for new reports and advocacy materials on these important topics on our website soon.

 

If you are not involved in the wind or solar industries, but simply support renewable energy, please follow our social media feeds on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn or join our Electric Nation: Powered by Wind community of online supporters.

 

I look forward to working with you to build a future powered by clean, abundant and affordable renewable energy.

 

John's Signature

 

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Board of Directors

 


Doug Fredrickson
Doug Fredrickson

Board Chair
Blattner Energy

Sarah Webster
Sarah Webster

Vice Chair
Pattern Energy


 



 


Ty Daul
Ty Daul

Board Member
Canadian Solar

Kevin A. Lynch
Kevin A. Lynch

 


James Walker
James Walker

 


Ron Stimmel
Ron Stimmel

Board Member
Amazon

Emily Williams
Emily Williams

Board Member
Edison Energy


 


Steve Bowers
Steve Bowers

Board Member
Apex Clean Energy

Tom Starrs
Tom Starrs

 


Caton Fenz
Caton Fenz

Board Member
Calpine


 


Jim Howell
Jim Howell

Board Member
sPower

Kevin Gresham
Kevin Gresham

Board Member
E.ON


 


Mark Ahlstrom
Mark Ahlstrom

Board Advisor
ESIG

 

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