Originally published on Into the Wind.
By Peebles Squire
At this year’s WINDPOWER conference, my feet have obediently carried me to all the meetings, workshops, and receptions I’ve needed to see. One thing I’d yet to do, though, was take a comprehensive tour of the showroom floor. Though weary, my feet and I were pleased to take the time to visit with attendees, snap a few photos, and hopefully make some connections that will last a lifetime.
From businesses big and small, people were getting exceptionally creative with their booth designs and layouts. Some were complex and sophisticated, with lights, sound, and giant, spinning turbine blades. Others were more simple, but no less imposing:
Others still were downright outlandish!
Personally, my favorite part of WINDPOWER is the opportunity to look at some of the massive, intricate components that make up these not-so-simple wind turbines. Thousands of precision engineered parts, built to exacting specifications, are at the center of this industry, providing manufacturing jobs and new opportunities for innovation across America.
I took a moment to speak with Petra Weihs and Dr. Tim Gudszend at the ThyssenKrupp Rothe Erde group’s booth. One of their companies, Rotek, is based in Aurora, Ohio, and builds bearings so big they boggle the mind:
Rothe Erde has a more than one good reason to attend WINDPOWER, and when I had a chance to ask why they’d been bringing their team to the floor for 4 or 5 years now, Petra summed it up nicely:
“I think it’s a good presentation for us, and good for our company’s reputation. We have several companies here in the U.S., and it makes sense to come here.”
I asked Jesse Tarr, President of Wind Secure, how he felt about this year’s showroom floor:
“It’s the avenue to everybody in the industry. If you have a place in this industry, you should probably be on the floor.”
The benefits are easy to see, says Tarr, whose company is based in Michigan:
“Every time we come, we meet new people, and the network continues to grow. For me, it’s a necessity, a no brainer.”
When asked about the location this year’s WINDPOWER conference, Petra summed it up just about perfectly:
“Las Vegas is great.”
I have to agree, and I can’t wait to get back out on the showroom floor.
It’s been a true pleasure to see all of our attendees this year, and I can’t wait to see even more at next year’s WINDPOWER in Orlando.
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