PPM Energy's Andrew Linehan Earns the AWEA Special Achievement Award
National Advocacy Group Recognizes Linehan's Commitment to Responsible Wind Development
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June 5, 2007
PORTLAND, Ore. - The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) honored PPM Energy's Andy Linehan, Director of Wind Energy Permitting, with the AWEA Special Achievement Award for his exemplary contribution to the advancement of the wind industry. Linehan received the award at the national advocacy group's annual conference in June.
"I've tried to position PPM Energy as the company that is at the forefront of the wind industry in the proactive way we address wildlife and other environmental impacts of wind, and most importantly, as a company that creates the greenest product we can," said Linehan. "The award is truly an honor. It's an endorsement of all the people that develop, construct, and operate our wind projects."
Linehan and his team conduct environmental due diligence early on in wind project development. He directs studies on environmental risk, and then works with developers to make sure PPM develops projects that have low risk to the environment. His group manages the multiple permits and hearings required for each wind project.
"Andy has been a driving force behind PPM's commitment to set a high standard when it comes to permitting, working with local communities and reducing our impact on the environment," said Terry Hudgens, PPM CEO. "His efforts have made a tremendous difference for us and have earned the respect of environmental advocates throughout the country -- helping set PPM apart as a leader in the wind industry."
A highly respected leader in the industry, Linehan is an active participant in policy forums at federal and state levels that develop guidelines for addressing wildlife and other environmental impacts of wind energy development. He works with a range of non-governmental organizations, such as the Bat Wind Energy Cooperative, Audubon and the Sierra Club.
Last May, Linehan worked with the National Wind Coordinating Committee (NWCC) Wildlife Workgroup to announce a four-year collaborative research project to study the Effects of Wind Power on the Demography and Population Genetics of the Greater Prairie-Chicken.
Linehan's efforts also helped make the recently dedicated Big Horn Wind Power Project in southeastern Washington a model for sensitive land use and conservation. PPM Energy sponsored the Bickleton School shop class to build and place 250 bluebird boxes in the region. Bickleton is known as the "Bluebird Capital of the World," and the birds are a source of local pride and tourism. PPM Energy also set aside 455 scenic acres in the Bickleton area as a long-term habitat conservation area.
PPM Energy has also been one of the most active members of the Bat Wind Energy Cooperative and has made funding, as well as several proposed and existing sites, available for research on better ways to minimize impacts of wind energy on bats.
"Andy Linehan's work is an inspiring and leading example of environmental stewardship,," said AWEA executive director Randall Swisher. "Leaders like Linehan demonstrate the highest possible level of commitment to environmental protection, above and beyond wind power's already built-in benefits as a clean energy source that produces no global warming pollution, no air pollution, no waste, and requires no mining or drilling."
Earning the Respect of Environmental Advocates
Linehan's leadership has not gone unnoticed. PPM's commitment to the environment has earned respect among utility customers with strict "green" criteria and even among bird advocates.
"While they have a vision of where they want to go to, PPM has a keen sense of responsibility and obligation," said Jim Maloney, energy resource project manager for Eugene Water and Electric Board, known for its strict environmental standards that also apply to suppliers. "In terms of environmental responsibility and transparency of information, PPM is in the top group that I consider for our portfolio."
PPM actively recruits Audubon Society representatives to sit on technical advisory committees that review all phases of development and construction.
"In working with PPM, I have found the staff to be very concerned about minimizing bat and bird mortalities," said Mike Denny, a representative of the Blue Mountain Audubon Society in eastern Washington. "On the Big Horn project, they are currently surveying all the turbines, which is unheard of for a wind farm project. That is very, very good to see."
PPM Energy (www.ppmenergy.com) of Portland, Ore. is part of the IBERDROLA group of companies, the world leader in wind power, with more than 6,500 MW of combined wind power capacity. PPM Energy itself has more than 2,000 megawatts (MW) of wind energy in operation or under construction. The strength of its renewable project pipeline has allowed the company to increase its 2010 target by more than 50 percent to at least 3,500 MW developed or controlled by PPM Energy. PPM Energy balances its supply portfolio with sales to wholesale customers, placing almost all of its output in long-term contracts. Major customers include the cities of Seattle, Sacramento, Eugene, Pasadena, and Anaheim, as well as investor-owned utilities such as Xcel Energy and Pacific Gas & Electric Company and the federal Bonneville Power Administration. PPM Energy also creates innovative new products to meet customer needs such as operations and maintenance services and build-to-sell products, and recently announced an expansion of its wind development activities into Canada