January 29, 2010, Washington, DC – The American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI), a national organization committed to facilitating timely and responsible development of wind energy while protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat, today announced that Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) has recently joined its membership.
AWWI was founded in November 2008 by 20 of the nation’s top science-based conservation and environmental groups, state wildlife agencies and wind energy companies. AWWI’s mission is to facilitate timely and responsible development of wind energy while protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat. It does this through research, mapping, mitigation and public education on best practices in wind farm siting and habitat protection.
PG&E is one of the largest purchasers of wind energy in the country, with nearly 2,000 megawatts of wind in its portfolio through short-term, long-term and ownership commitments. “PG&E is proud to be the first investor-owned utility to join the AWWI. We can learn a great deal from AWWI’s alliance between leading wind companies and environmental organizations to support the goal of advancing renewable energy while protecting our wildlife resources,” said PG&E’s Diane Ross-Leech, Director of Environmental Stewardship.
Wind energy development is a critical component of California’s and the nation’s efforts to diversify its energy sources; combat climate change; reduce air, water, and soil pollution; and reduce water use by offsetting conventional fuel energy generation. Reconciling wind development and wildlife protection can lead to better-informed siting decisions and result in more efficient development of new wind energy projects while also protecting biodiversity. AWWI’s focused research and science–based tools aim to bring clarity and consensus around complex and often controversial issues.
AWWI provides a unique and invaluable collaborative forum for diverse stakeholders such as wind energy firms, environmentalists, conservationists, state wildlife agencies and utilities, to align themselves around a common goal. As the U.S. ramps up renewable energy infrastructure, it will become increasingly important that all interests work together to strike a balance of advancing energy development while avoiding or minimizing impacts to our natural heritage.
“The addition of PG&E to our membership represents an opportunity to broaden the perspective of the issues AWWI is working to address.” said Stu Webster, Vice President of AWWI. “As we expand and deepen our common understanding of what defines responsible wind energy development, we invariably influence the manner in which new development is undertaken.”
"We applaud PG&E's leadership as the first utility to join AWWI.” said Alex Levinson of the Sierra Club, a Founding Member of AWWI. “The vision of AWWI is that groups with diverse perspectives on issues can come together and build a path for responsible siting of clean wind energy. PG&E can be a critical player in helping us achieve this vision.”
AWWI’s members include AES Wind Generation, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, BP Wind Energy, Clipper Windpower Inc., E.ON, Environmental Defense Fund, enXco, GE Energy, Horizon Wind Energy, Iberdrola Renewables, National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, NRG Systems, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Pattern Energy, Renewable Energy Systems Americas, The Nature Conservancy, The Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, and Vestas Americas.
To learn more, please visit www.awwi.org
[Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/about/