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Upstate NY, Canada Team Up on Wind Power

The CanAm Wind Energy initiative, a formal partnership between Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE), Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE), and Niagara Economic Development Corporation (NEDC) Canada, was announced today.

CanAm Wind Energy will make its debut at the world’s largest annual event for wind energy, the 2010 Wind Power Conference and Exhibition.  The conference takes place next week from May 23-26 in Dallas, TX. The initiative is being supported in part by a grant from National Grid.

The three organizations have partnered to capitalize on the rapidly growing wind energy industry, which is expected to generate $60.8 billion in revenue by 2016. With the bi-national Rochester, Buffalo, and Niagara regions emerging as a top location for wind farm development, CanAm Wind Energy’s aim is to create more jobs and further diversify and strengthen the regional economies through new energy opportunities.

“In today’s competitive economic environment, regional collaboration is key to economic success,” said GRE President and CEO Mark Peterson.  “Through this partnership, the Greater Rochester, Buffalo, and Niagara Canada regions will be in a better position to compete globally for jobs and investment.”

CanAm Wind Energy was formalized through a memorandum of understanding between the partnering agencies. The MOU spells out how the three groups will work with government leaders, businesses, universities and other not-for-profit economic development groups to ensure a united approach to attracting the wind industry.

The effort will include promoting the bi-national region, connecting businesses with resources in the bi-national region, and leading appropriate initiatives to increase resources for new and established businesses.

“Renewable energy is one of the few industry sectors that continue to show progress and potential for growth in the current economic climate,” said BNE President & CEO Thomas A. Kucharski.  “As a result, it is also currently one of the most competitive sectors for business attraction, particularly in wind. This partnership will enhance the prospects for success for all three regions as site selectors and companies in this highly sought-after business look at much larger geographic regions for investment.”

“The partnership combines the rich industrial assets, skilled workforce, advanced technologies, and strategic locations of our three regions, “ said NEDC Canada Chief Executive Officer Patrick Gedge. “We will be able to leverage these assets to serve the North American wind energy markets.”

Shared and unique assets of the three entities forming the CanAm Wind Energy initiative are: a bi-national location, market access, existing supply chains, a well-developed transportation infrastructure, the skilled and affordable workforce, approximately 60 colleges and universities, workforce development programs, and the existence of a wind turbine gear manufacturer (Gleason Manufacturing in Rochester).

“This is a ‘win-win-win’ for the Rochester, Buffalo and Niagara Canada regions,” Peterson concluded.

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