Lately, Georgia sure has been receiving a lot of attention from the wind industry. The ZF Wind Power factory, located in Gainesville, Georgia, was recently featured on WindTV – the American Wind Energy Association’s web portal for short videos on wind power. ZF Wind Power is a $98 million investment in the Peach State, employs about 150 people and manufactures wind turbine gearboxes for the domestic and international markets.
In part, Georgia’s strong manufacturing base for wind turbines has helped steer the American Wind Energy Assocation’s large annual WINDPOWER Conference to Atlanta next week. The conference is the largest of its kind in the world, and is expected to draw at least 13,000 people to Atlanta to learn about and promote wind power. This year’s conference has earned the WindMade designation as a 100% wind-powered event – a first in North America. WindMade is a consumer label to help promote wind energy usage. Be sure to come to Atlanta for WINDPOWER next week – and stay tuned for post-conference wrap-ups by SACE staff.
Despite the strength of the wind industry in Georgia, not a single Georgia Senator or Representative have co-sponsored legislation to help prevent a substantial rise in taxes on the wind industry. The production and investment tax credits are important policies that help keep the cost of wind energy low, but the policies will expire this year unless Congress acts. Over 100 Republican and Democratic Representatives from all over the country (but not Georgia) have signed onto a bill to extend tax credits to the wind industry for a year. Another bill, which would extend a vitally important tax credit for offshore wind development, has also not been co-sponsored by any federally-elected officials from Georgia despite strong offshore wind energy potential in Georgia, as well.
Be sure to contact your elected officials and tell them to save wind energy jobs. With your help, we can keep the wind industry strong in Georgia!