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.
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 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.