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Here for our Texas family: U.S. wind power donates $1 million to Harvey relief

Here for our Texas family: U.S. wind power donates $1 million to Harvey relief
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There’s no other way to put it: Texas is the beating heart of the U.S. wind industry.

Nearly a quarter of the country’s installed capacity is in Texas, and over 22,000 wind workers reside in the state—many at companies based in the Houston area. So the entire wind community is thinking of our Texan friends and colleagues, and we’re looking for ways to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. American wind power wouldn’t be where it is without you.

That’s why yesterday we joined Habitat for Humanity in announcing that companies in the U.S. wind industry will donate $1 million to the Habitat Hammers Back initiative. The funds will support repairs and rebuilding of areas affected by the storm. Many wind companies also intend to mobilize workers in the area to swing hammers and otherwise assist Habitat for Humanity.

Wind companies participating in the relief effort so far include: Apex Clean Energy, Blattner Energy, Duke Energy, EDF Renewable Energy, EDP Renewables, Enel Green Power North America, Inc., E.ON, Goldwind Americas, Hannon Armstrong, Invenergy, Leeward Renewable Energy, Lincoln Clean Energy, MAP Royalty, Pattern Energy, TPI Composites, and the American Wind Energy Association.

Also making the $1 million pledge to become “keystone partners” of Habitat Hammers Back were the Dow Chemical Company, General Motors, and Thrivent Financial.

Here’s what some of the participants in the effort are saying:

“Habitat for Humanity is committed to helping families recover from Hurricane Harvey, and we wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of our partners like these American wind energy companies. Their gift is an investment in the long-term recovery of these communities.” — Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford

“More than 22,000 wind workers are in the state of Texas so this has hit very close to home for us. We all feel the need to help with this rebuilding effort.” — Steven C. Lockard, President & CEO of TPI Composites

“Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to everyone along the Texas Coastal Bend and in Houston who was impacted by this storm. Several E.ON employees around our Papalote Creek Wind Farm lost their homes, and even more saw their communities devastated when the hurricane made landfall. Habitat for Humanity will play a critical role in helping people rebuild their homes and communities.” — Patrick Woodson, Chairman of E.ON North America.

“The EDF group has 400 employees in Houston serving various sectors of the energy industry, including our regional wind project development team. As Texas wind is an important contributor to our nation’s energy mix, and Houston in specific is the center of energy diversity, we are committed to the ambition to offer our resources in the recovery and rebuilding efforts.” –Tristan Grimbert, President & CEO, EDF Renewable Energy

Wind turbines withstood the storm

All of the turbines within Harvey’s path came through the storm relatively unscathed. Two wind farms near where the hurricane made landfall at Corpus Christi suffered damage to their transmission and substations, but repairs were finished within a week and all area wind farms are now back online.

ERCOT, the grid manager for most of Texas, reported a small downturn in wind production during the worst of the storm as turbines were shut down to protect them at wind speeds over 55 mph. However, levels of wind-generated electricity quickly returned to normal. Some projects not in the direct path operated at or near maximum capacity for the first day-and-a-half of the storm.

How you can help Harvey relief

More information on Habitat for Humanity and the American Wind: Rebuilding Texas hurricane response program can be found at https://habitat.org/American-Wind-Energy/Harvey.

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Greg is the Writer and Content Manager for AWEA. He is the head editor and writer for Into the Wind, and oversees AWEA's online content and opinion writing. Greg holds a Master's degree in Global Environmental Policy from American University's School of International Service. He also holds a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and Journalism from Lehigh University.

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