The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) and the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB) are pleased to join the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) in announcing today that the WINDPOWER 2009 Conference & Exhibition, the world¡¯s largest annual wind energy event, will be held in Chicago next year, at the McCormick Place Convention Center from May 4 ¨C 7, 2009.
The WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition has become one of the most successful and fastest-growing industry shows in the United States. Sold exhibition space for WINDPOWER 2009 already exceeds that of WINDPOWER 2008, which was 85% larger than the previous year. WINDPOWER was recently listed in Tradeshow Week magazine¡¯s latest installment of its prestigious 50 Fastest-Growing Shows in North America.
¡°We are excited to be coming back to Chicago,¡± said AWEA Executive Director Randall Swisher. (AWEA held WINDPOWER 2004 in Chicago.) ¡°The ¡®windy city¡¯ offers an ideal mix of hospitality and exhibition facilities in a vibrant downtown setting. We¡¯re excited to hold this event in a state that ranked in the top 5 for new wind project construction in 2007, and where new manufacturing jobs are being created thanks to this technology¡¯s rapid expansion.¡±
WINDPOWER continues to grow at a fast pace as wind energy becomes a more important part of America¡¯s energy picture. ¡°Following WINDPOWER 2007 and WINDPOWER 2008, we experienced an unprecedented explosion in demand for exhibition space and hotel rooms,¡± Swisher said. ¡°We are grateful to officials in Chicago¡¯s hospitality sector, as well as the office of Mayor Richard M. Daley and Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, for their efforts to accommodate the show.¡±
"Illinois is firmly on the path to a sustainable energy future and is proud to host the world's largest annual wind energy event next year," said Governor Rod R. Blagojevich. "By relying more on renewable energy sources like wind, we can generate the electricity we need without polluting our air or contributing to global warming, while at the same time protecting public health, saving energy and reducing our energy costs."
¡°The MPEA is grateful to the Governor¡¯s Office for its assistance in bringing WINDPOWER 2009 to McCormick Place,¡± said Juan A. Ochoa, Chief Executive Officer of the MPEA, owner and operator of McCormick Place. ¡°We will work to help WINDPOWER continue to grow their exhibits and attendance.¡±
"Thanks to Mayor Daley's vision and leadership, Chicago is a catalyst for the green meetings industry," said Tim Roby, CCTB President and CEO. "The CCTB looks forward to working with AWEA to ensure a successful conference while in Chicago."
By 2025, Illinois is expected to see $8 billion in investment in new wind projects that will generate 4,000 megawatts (MW) of power to meet the state¡¯s growing electricity demand and its renewable electricity standard. (The state has enacted a renewable electricity standard requiring that 25% of all power for residential and small commercial customers be provided from renewable energy resources.)
Pending legislation in Illinois would extend the renewable electricity standard to larger customers, a step that would require a doubling of that investment and power generated. In addition to environmental benefits statewide, this investment would bring significant economic benefits to manufacturing towns, windy rural communities, and Chicago financial community.
New wind projects added in 2007 account for about 35% of the entire new power-producing capacity added for the year. Similar growth is taking place this year, making the U.S. the world¡¯s largest wind power market in terms of new installations and wind energy production.