09.28.04 NOTES: Tuesday@REI Wind Innovation and Manufacturing Opportunities in Northeast Ohio

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 10/22/2004 - 15:19.

Norm Roulet's notes from Wind Power session at REI:

Reporting
from REI on dialogue among a range of community leaders interested to develop a
wind power industry in NEO. The focus is on developing this as a product
fabrication industry – building a facility to manufacture towers. At the meeting
are folks from the heavy fabrication side – Lincoln Electric and AT&F. Also
here are lots of folks from the sustainability non-profit side – Entrepreneurs
for Sustainability, Green Energy Ohio, Bowling Green Wind Farm - and there are
promising, hopeful wind industry entrepreneurs like session leaders Jeff Buster
and Martha Eakin.

Lincoln
wants to pursue the robotic welding side of the industry – AT&F is
interested in the fabrication – Timken has been mentioned to provide some of the
technology (and GE has been raised as an enemy of open innovation enabling this
industry here). Jeff Buster just mentioned that in Germany wind power
fabrication is the second biggest consumer of steel after automotive, so the
opportunity is significant. I pointed out that, from an energy demand side, NEO
has some of the highest electricity costs in America, there is high demand, and
we have a captive power grid in CPP, so a case for the industry should be made
from the demand side. In support of that concept, a representative here from the
Bowling Green Wind Farm pointed out Bowling Green is making so much money from
their wind production facilities they are adding two more
towers.

There
is strong interest among everyone here to develop this industry and willingness
to collaborate. In fact, the resulting realization of everyone here is we need
to work together – network for solutions. So here sitting around me is a very
diverse community of interest with the potential to COIL together in
collaboration, to solve a major problem impacting the region’s competitiveness –
high electricity costs – and create a significant new industry that would put
existing sites and facilities into operations, involve regional business
leaders, create opportunity for other entrepreneurs, and generate jobs. We have
some powerful folks here – none part of the “clusters� being pursued by any ED
models I’ve heard preached here – but the folks here are not in any way
connected and so have no way to move the opportunity forward. Sure, REI has all
our names and email addresses, and there is a $175 Ohio Wind Power Conference
Nov. 9 & 10 (which features GE and lots of government officials, and Mayor
Campbell – none of which are represented here, and none of which have ever shown
any initiative to create this industry here before), and there’s a follow up REI
on this subject planned for November 30th, but nothing planned will enable
progress day to day, or over time, in collaboration among all these scores of
people who made a point to be here today.

Another
example of the need for REALNEO to support a high potential COIL, which is not
controlled by or affiliated with GCP, NEOSA, or any of the other controlling
powers that may be, but aren’t here. If REALNEO existed today, everyone here
would know to now go online and build upon this posting – discussion note or
blog as the case would be – and we’d all know who was here, and see everyone’s
personal profiles, and we’d be able to get in touch directly, or participate in
on-line discussions, and we’d know and follow next steps to succeed with this
initiative to develop a new industry where it is so badly
needed.

This
message brought to you free of charge by a disruptive technology – wifi. Session
over – signing off,

 

Topic:
"Wind
Innovation and Manufacturing Opportunities in Northeast
Ohio"

Lead by civic entrepreneurs Jeff
Buster and Martha Eakin, we'll take a head on look at why the
US isn't mass producing wind turbine
towers. What we can do about it and why aren't we involved? Does this matter?
Where do we go from here? How can we think about product design and
manufacturing processes to augment our competitive advantage in NEO? Bring your
ideas, questions and your knowledge.

Tuesday, September 28, 4 P.M. to 5:45 P.M., Peter B. Lewis
Building, Room
103

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