INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana continues to make a name for itself in wind energy, and the industry is taking notice. CLEANPOWER, which bills itself as the largest gathering of clean energy technologies for utility-scale renewable companies in the Western Hemisphere, is coming to Indianapolis in 2021. The American Wind Energy Association expects 10,000 attendees and exhibitors, including wind energy companies, developers, turbine manufacturers, energy storage technology companies and more.

Jana Adams, senior vice president of member value and experience, says there is a lot to like about Indianapolis as a host for the conference.

"Obviously, it's been named the number one convention city for conferences and trade shows," said Adams. "It's very centrally located. We have a strong base of manufacturers and members within the state of Indiana. There's a great and growing wind development happening within the state of Indiana and it's easy to get to for our members. It's also just beautiful; the downtown has a lot of features that make it easy to navigate and have a really good experience when you're here for a convention."

She says the conference’s large trade room floor will feature 600 vendors “here to do business.”

Adams joined Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch last month to announce the conference. Governor Eric Holcomb proclaimed August 11-17 as American Wind Week in Indiana.

"In Indiana, it is important to recognize how clean energy and tourism collectively work together to better our communities," Crouch said in a news release. "Our state has a lot to offer in both industries, and it's exciting to see them acknowledged on the national level.  As we host the 2021 CLEANPOWER, I hope to find new and innovative solutions to clean energy while promoting Indianapolis' tourist destinations."

Visit Indy estimates the four-day conference will generate a $10.5 million economic impact for central Indiana.

According to the AWEA, Indiana’s wind farms have 2,300 megawatts of wind power capacity, generating enough electricity to power over 500,000 average homes. The capacity ranks Indiana 12th in the nation.

Indiana continues to grow its wind power footprint, with several projects in development. In Randolph County, Texas-based EDP Renewables North America hopes to have a $300 million wind farm up and running in 2020. As reported in a previous edition of INPower, social media giant Facebook has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with the company. EDP also broke ground in June on the Meadow Lake VI Wind Farm in Benton County, which is the latest phase of what organizers call the largest wind farm in Indiana. Colorado-based Scout Clean Energy is working on a $150 million facility in Jay County and Merrillville-based NIPSCO announced plans in February for three new wind farms.

The association calls CLEANPOWER the next evolution of its WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition, which it has held annually since 1974. The inaugural conference is set for Denver from June 1-4, 2020. The Indianapolis conference will take place June 7-10, 2021.