Texas Offshore Wind Energy (TOWER) and the Offshore Wind Law (OWL) Conferences
2010 -2014

For a number of years, this was the official website for the Texas Offshore Wind Energy (TOWER) and the Offshore Wind Law (OWL) Conference.
Content is from the site's 2010 -2014 archived pages as well as outside sources and press releases.

For the current website for Offshore Wind Energy go to: www.offshorewind.biz/
The Offshore Wind Executive Summit will be held October 5, 2021 Galveston, TX

I find it amazing that despite its status as a global oil and gas producer, Texas has somehow become a US wind power pace-setter and it is also coming on strong in the solar energy department. In 2020 the U.S. added more new energy capacity from wind than any other source last year, and Texas was at the forefront of that trend. Texas installed the most land-based wind capacity in 2020, with 4,137 megawatts. The state's total capacity now stands at 32,686 MW, and nearly 20% of its electricity now comes from wind.

I was recently discussing wind farms with a friend who lives in Melbourne, Australia. I was telling him how Texas is by far the nation's leader in both installed and under-construction wind capacity, with nearly four dozen active manufacturing facilities -- four times as many as second-place Iowa. I am encouraged that the Biden administration’s target of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 is expected to generate more than $12 billion per year in capital investment while creating tens of thousands of domestic jobs. My friend was impressed. Australia only has land based wind farms. There are no offshore wind farms operating in Australia which I found surprising. Apparently investors, energy experts and Australian communities have been waiting for years for the Australian government to create a regulatory framework for the offshore wind industry. Until then no off shore wind projects can proceed. Wow!

On the other hand in a totally different market place- this time gambling, my friend tells me that although the laws regulating gambling only have a touch of federal input, especially regarding consumer protection, it is the states and territories govern individual gambling laws unlike the central control over the wind industry sector. Surprisingly, unlike land-based gambling in Australia that varies from region to region,  Australia’s online gambling laws are subject to the Interactive Gambling Bill of 2001. Even though online casinos are technically off-limits for Aussies, the laws really apply to the providers instead of players. This makes sense when you consider more than 80% of Australian residents are engaged in gaming activities of some kind, which makes the casino industry in the country literally a flourishing one. My friend is no exception. We both go to the same online casino affiliate site to see the weekly posting of promos for our faverite online casinos. He checks out the page for Aussie friendly casinos and their promos for the best pokies (Australian slots). You can go to Online-Casino-Party.co if you are interested. I check out the promo page for US players. I'm glad I live in a US state, Nevada, that permits online gambling. When I lived in New York I couldn't sign up at any of the online casinos that I now frequently visit for some fun.

I was surprised to learn that the entrenched Texas legislative establishment remains committed to a (mostly) gambling-free state. Apparently in Texas, sweepstakes and social casinos are the only option for those who want to play online slots, one of my favorite casino games. If you get caught gambling online in Texas, the offense is in the same class of crime as a speeding ticket, it’s simply not worth the hassle. Even though there are active bills within the Legislature to bring both casinos and sports betting to Texas, it’s extremely unlikely that they will pass. Particularly when you learn that Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a longtime gambling opponent, stated in February 2021 that sports betting was “not going to see the light of day this session.” Oh well. At least the folks in Texas can brag about their wind farms.


Texas to become first US state with offshore wind energy

Sunday, 10 October 2010 /www.renewableenergymagazine.com/
The first offshore wind energy turbine in the US will be installed off the Texas coast by the end of the year.

The 2.75-MW turbine is being installed near Galveston Island in the Gulf of Mexico. It is a precursor to the 300-MW Galveston Wind Project and the development of 3500 acres (1,416.4 hectares) already leased for Texas offshore wind operations.

According to the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the US has the potential to generate over 4,150 GW of energy from offshore wind, which would fulfill four times the current energy demand through wind energy.

“Texas has many favorable conditions, such as its own transmission network and plant sites in a 10 mile zone off of its coast,” said Jan Wiedemann, managing director of the German American Chamber of Commerce in Houston (Texas). “This area is governed by Texas state laws, making it unlike any other US state since it does not need the approval of the US Department of the Interior.

“This creates many opportunities for entering the ever growing wind industry The NREL also projects that Texas has the potential to generate 1.06 GW of energy within this 10 mile zone (25.9 square kilometer),” he added.

Not coincidentally, Houston is about to host the first-ever Texas Offshore Wind Energy Roundtable. The conference, and an affiliated forum on offshore wind law will be held 19-22 October. The four-day conference will evaluate the potential of Texas’s offshore wind energy market and address the expected wind energy boom in the Gulf of Mexico. E.ON Climate & Renewables Europe, SIEMENS, Hochtief, Vestas, Thales and Siag, have all confirmed their participation.

Featured speakers will include Michael Lewis, managing director of E.ON Climate and Renewables Europe, who will speak about their experiences as a European offshore wind energy supplier, and William Keating, general manager sales North America of Vestas Offshore, who will speak on state-of-the-art technological capabilities and experiences in offshore wind from the perspective of a turbine manufacturer.


1st Texas Offshore Wind Energy Roundtable (TOWER) & Offshore Wind Law (OWL) Conference


The German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern US, Inc. Texas office (GACC South) and the Texas Wind Energy Clearinghouse announce the 1st Texas Offshore Wind Energy Roundtable (TOWER) Conference and the Offshore Wind Law (OWL) Conference in Houston,TX on October 19-22, 2010. The conference will take place at the Hotel Derek with the intention to explore the unique Texas marketplace and to move pacesetting companies toward action in the Gulf of Mexico.

With substantial state control of policies, permits, and electric grid, Texas is the place to do business in offshore wind in the Americas. If you intend to stake a claim in offshore wind, this is a conference that you cannot afford to miss. Meet and connect with industry experts, including leading OEMs, suppliers, engineering firms and other key multipliers. More than 40 speakers will discuss topics on opportunities in the offshore wind energy market as well as how to overcome its challenges. Use this outstanding possibility to network with key decision makers from this industry.

Date: October 19-22, 2010                                   
Location: Hotel Derek, Houston, Texas                                        

Confirmed speakers include:
Michael Lewis, Managing Director, E.ON. Climate and Renewables Europe
The Honorable Jerry Patterson, Texas Land Commissioner, Texas General Land Office (GLO)
Thomas Mouston, Head of Offshore Wind Energy US, SIEMENS
Fenno Leeuwerke, Managing Director Offshore, HOCHTIEF Construction AG
Bernd Becker, President, SIAG Aerisyn LLC


  +++ Book now and get a 10% discount on each ticket until August 31, 2010. +++


1st TOWER & OWL Conference 2010

Join us for the premier of the Texas Offshore Wind Energy Conference (TOWER). From its history as an independent nation in the 19th Century to its role as a global energy leader in the 21st Century, Texas has operated under unique laws and is positioned to be the pacesetter for offshore wind development in the Western Hemisphere.

With substantial state control of policies, permits, and electric grid, Texas is the place to do business in offshore wind in the USA and the Western Hemisphere. TOWER – the Texas Offshore Wind Energy Roundtable conference and expo – and OWL – the Offshore Wind Law continuing legal education conference – will provide you with the tools and business network to make profitable investments in Texas offshore wind from the outset. 

Launching in October 2010, this premier conference combination will be an annual event that grows along with the reality and multi-gigawatt potential of the Texas industry. Hear directly from the permitting agencies, authorized project developers, turbine-ready equipment manufacturers, experienced European offshore wind operators, and more.

If you intend to stake a claim in offshore wind, this is a conference that you cannot afford to miss.


2nd TOWER & OWL Conference 2011


The 2nd Texas Offshore Wind Energy Roundtable (TOWER) and Offshore Wind Law Conference (OWL), which took October 3-4, 2011 in Houston, TX, celebrates another successful year.

From its history as an independent nation in the 19th Century, to its role as a global energy leader in the 21st Century, Texas operates under unique laws and is positioned to be the pacesetter for offshore wind energy development in the Americas. In June 2011, Baryonyx Corporation announced that it has submitted an application to the US Army Corps of Engineers in Galveston for permits to construct offshore wind farms within state waters off of the coast of Texas. If fully developed, these sites could have an installed capacity of up to 3 GW.

Following up on last year's success, TOWER brought together exhibitors and attendees who are interested in becoming players in this new and highly promising market. This year's program addressed the state of the industry globally and locally as well as turbine showcases, installation, ports & infrastructure, Offshore Wind Law, environmental issues and Finance & Insurance topics. A conference program with the agenda and speaker topics can be found here. Offshore Wind Law (OWL) was approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) credit by the State Bar of Texas Committee on MCLE in the amount of 12.0 hours, of which 0.0 hours applies to legal ethics/professional responsibility credit.



4th TOWER & OWL Conference 2013


TOWER 2013 will feature more than 25 hours of intensive, cutting-edge information and powerful networking. Discover the latest in industry products and services and find solutions for your business challenges.

This year's TOWER speakers includes: 

*  Amanda Duhon, Vice Consul, UKTI 
*  John Pappas, Wind Energy Director, Texas A&M Energy Institute 
*  Ian Hatton, CEO, Baryonyx
*  Maggie Iglesias-Turner, General Cargo and Tariff Manager, Port of Corpus Christi
*  Beth Emery, Partner, Husch & Blackwell LLP
*  Douglas Hines, President & CEO, Offshore Wind Power Systems of Texas llc
*  Manti Cummins, Project Director, Amshore 
*  Greg Friend, Partner, Stahl, Bernal & Davies, LLP
*  Thomas Mousten, Siemens Energy, Inc.
*  Jim Sinclair, Co-Owner, TX-ESA 
Date, Venue & Registration
Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Time: 8:30am - 5:00pm

Four Oaks Place
1330 Post Oak Blvd.
Houston, TX 77056


Admission Early Bird:

$495 for GACC South & Partner members

$595 for non-members 


Press Releases

10/2/2013 /http://energy.gov

New Report Shows Trend Toward Larger Offshore Wind Systems, with 11 advanced stage projects proposed in U.S.water

October 23, 2013

The Energy Department today released a new report showing progress for the U.S. offshore wind energy market in 2012, including the completion of two commercial lease auctions for federal Wind Energy Areas and 11 commercial-scale U.S. projects representing over 3,800 megawatts (MW) of capacity reaching an advanced stage of development. Further, the report highlights global trends toward building offshore turbines in deeper waters and using larger, more efficient turbines in offshore wind farms, increasing the amount of electricity delivered to consumers.

This year’s U.S. Offshore Wind Market and Economic Analysis, authored by the Navigant Consortium for the Energy Department, builds on last year’s report,  providing additional information on offshore wind’s potential to add to U.S. electricity capacity and create jobs, as well as outlining policy developments that influence the sector. This report, along with other offshore wind R&D projects that began in 2011 and advanced technology demonstration projects announced in 2012, are part of the Department's national offshore wind strategy, supporting the development of a suite of tools and advanced engineering prototypes that can assist offshore wind project developers and industry stakeholders.

The offshore wind market assessment report will be updated and published annually for a three-year period, providing stakeholders with a reliable and consistent data source. Over time, it will also inform development of a road map for accelerating development and increasing U.S. competitiveness in the offshore wind market.

The 2013 report's key findings include:

  • Eleven offshore wind projects representing 3,824 MW of capacity are currently in an advanced stage of development in the United States, which includes projects that have at least signed a power purchase agreement, received approval for an interim or commercial lease in state or federal waters, or conducted baseline or geophysical studies at the proposed site.
  • Globally, offshore wind development continues to move farther from shore into increasingly deeper waters; parallel increases in turbine sizes and hub heights are contributing to higher efficiencies (capacity factors).
  • The average turbine size for advanced-stage, planned projects in the United States is expected to range between 4 and 5 MW, which is larger than turbines being used in land-based applications.
  • Developers continue to test a variety of platform and foundation types as the industry seeks to address deeper waters, varying seabed conditions, increasing turbine sizes, and the increased severity of wind and wave loading at offshore wind projects.
  • The main challenges faced by U.S. offshore wind developers are cost-competitiveness, a lack of infrastructure such as offshore transmission and purpose-built ports and vessels, and uncertain and lengthy regulatory processes.
  • Transmission infrastructure projects that saw progress in 2013 included the Atlantic Wind Connection and the New Jersey Energy Link.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Learn more about the Department's efforts to research, test, develop, and deploy innovative offshore wind energy technologies.


Nation’s largest wind farm proposed for West Texas

Posted on September 25, 2013 by(Michael Paulsen / Houston Chronicle)

The city of Houston will buy half of its electricity from renewable sources. (Michael Paulsen / Houston Chronicle)

DALLAS — A Dallas-based wind-power developer has proposed an array of as many as 650 wind turbines for 190 square miles of the Texas South Plains.

Tri Global Energy LLC announced plans for Hale Community Energy on Tuesday. The vast wind farm would extend from Abernathy over much of eastern Hale County on land Tri Global says is controlled by more than 340 owners and has more than 450 shareholders.

The company says the complex would be developed in five phases to be operational by mid-2018 with a generating capacity of 1,100 megawatts. The first, 200-megawatt phase is to be operational by late 2015.

Tri Global Vice President Curtis King says after construction, the complex would provide at least 100 permanent jobs.


Wind Turbine Makers Poised for Return to Profitability

Posted By Alex Morales - Aug 22, 2013 / www.bloomberg.com

Wind-turbine makers are poised to make their first profit in years after shutting underused factories and abandoning a drive for growth at all costs.

Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS) of Denmark, the world’s biggest manufacturer, along with German competitor Nordex SE (NDX1) are forecast to have their first pretax profits this year since 2010, according to analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg. Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA (GAM) is predicted to make a net profit after a loss last year. Investors haven’t waited, driving up shares of the three companies an average 220 percent in 2013.

After manufacturers cut at least 9,000 jobs and closed the least efficient plants, turbine prices may rise for the first time since 2009. That’s helping them cope with European subsidy cuts and bruising competition that lowered prices by a quarter in an industry that drew $75 billion of investment last year.

“Overcapacity and the price war was a big part of the crisis,” Juergen Zeschky, chief executive officer of Hamburg-based Nordex, said by phone. “Now companies are doing their homework and becoming more efficient, optimizing their processes and achieving further cost reductions.”

The result is the three turbine makers lead the 31-percent recovery in clean energy shares this year along with billionaire Elon Musk’s electric-car maker Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), the top performer that has quadrupled, and California solar-panel maker Sunpower Corp. (SPWR), which has tripled.

Share Rally
Vestas in Aarhus, Denmark, surged to 109 Danish kroner through yesterday from 32 kroner at the end of December. The stock peaked at an intraday 700 kroner in June 2008 and hit a 14-year low last year. Spain’s Gamesa has more than tripled this year after reaching an all-time low last year. Nordex recovered 180 percent in 2013 after hitting a seven-year low last year.

“We’re definitely past the worst,” said Jacob Pedersen, an analyst at Sydbank A/S (SYDB) in Aabenraa, Denmark. “We’re seeing order intakes improve and positive earnings revisions.”

The outlook is not uniformly optimistic. Turbine demand is forecast to fall about a quarter to 36 gigawatts this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The researcher expects a 5 percent drop in China, which may hurt domestic manufacturers Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. and Sinovel Wind Group (601558) Co.

Earnings Rebound
Even so, most of the manufacturers are in the middle of cost-cutting programs that are beginning to show results. Suzlon Energy Ltd. (SUEL), which had the biggest Indian convertible bond default in history, is forecast to return to an operating profit this year, though interest payments will wipe that out.

Vestas is predicted to post operating profit of 103 million euros, according to the average of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Interest, tax and costs would push it into a net loss. Nordex may post a net profit of 10 million euros, and Gamesa is predicted to have a 41 million-euros profit, according to the forecasts.

Vestas is less than five months away from completing a two-year program to reduce expenses by 400 million euros and its workforce by about 30 percent. On Aug. 21, it replaced Chief Executive Officer Ditlev Engel with Ericsson AB executive Anders Runevad as second-quarter losses widened.

“If we execute our plans, then we will be profitable when we present our full-year results,” Chief Marketing Officer Morten Albaek said by phone.

Bigger Rivals
The “pure-play” manufacturers have suffered more than competitors such as General Electric Co. (GE) and Siemens AG (SIE), which are bigger industrial conglomerates.

GE Wind’s orders fell by a third last year while the company supplanted Vestas as the biggest turbine supplier, according to Navigant Consulting Inc. (NCI)’s BTM Consult.

Profit at Siemens’ wind unit declined 15 percent in the accounting year ended September 2012. Orders fell 24 percent. It’s working to cut 615 jobs, anticipating a smaller U.S. market.

At Nordex, Zeschky announced factory closures in the U.S. and China after taking over in March 2012. Those will slash a quarter of its manufacturing capacity.

“There’s still a lot of growing up to do,” said Zeschky of Nordex, which returned to profit in the first half of 2013. “It’s still a challenging market.”

Gamesa Outlook
Gamesa, which is based in Zamudio, Spain, reported a profit of 22 million euros for the first six months of the year after a loss last year. It’s announced 2,600 job cuts and will shut 24 offices to save 100 million euros a year.

“This industry was causing its own demise by building more factories everywhere and continuously competing on price,” said Daniel Patterson, an analyst at SEB AB in Copenhagen. “They’ve all woken up to reality.”

Cuts by the biggest manufacturers have reduced potential turbine supply 11 percent to about 72 gigawatts this year, according to Daniel Shurey, an analyst at New Energy Finance in London. A further reduction to about 67 gigawatts is predicted by 2016. Global installations were 44.8 gigawatts last year. A gigawatt is enough to supply 300,000 homes in the U.S.

“The huge cost reduction efforts of all the main manufacturers are starting to kick in,” Shurey said. “Capacity is starting to move down, in line with the lower demand.”

Tighter supply is helping boost prices. Machines for delivery in the first half of 2014 are selling for 1.01 euros a megawatt compared with 880,000 euros for those to be shipped in the second half of 2013, New Energy Finance estimates.

Gamesa Chief Executive Officer Ignacio Martin said on July 23 that there’s been “a stabilization of volumes and prices that is expected to continue.” GE Vice Chairman Keith Sherin said July 19 that pricing for renewables orders is up 11 percent, with new wind products “the biggest piece” of that.

“That’s a very interesting potential inflection point,” Patterson said. “If prices start to go up, then this entire industry and the stocks have more runway left.”



5th TOWER & OWL Conference 2014


The 5th Texas Offshore Wind Energy Roundtable (TOWER) Conference & Offshore Wind Law (OWL) Conference will take place in Houston, TX on 2014.


The 5th Texas Offshore Wind Energy Roundtable (TOWER Conference) & Offshore Wind Law (OWL) Conference, hosted by the Houston office of the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern US, Inc., seeks to help industry leaders from Texas realize opportunity by bringing some of the leading experts from Europe and the US to Houston. Conference participants will catch up on the latest developments in the Texas offshore wind market and will be able to network with some of the biggest players in the offshore industry from the Gulf Coast region.

Featuring more than 25 hours of intensive, cutting-edge information and powerful networking, this year's program addresses the state of the industry globally and locally. The conference features turbine showcases, installation, ports & infrastructure, offshore wind law, environmental issues and finance & insurance topics.

Enhance your image and increase your visibility. Let the TOWER attendees know that you belong to the market leaders of the wind industry… your industry.

TOWER attendees represent the core of wind professionals actively looking for new business opportunities and partners, as well as solutions and education on all things related to wind – on- and offshore.

Sponsoring TOWER provides you with an ideal platform to promote your products and services to the wind industry.

Make a lasting impression on the TOWER attendees and establish yourself as the market leader.



The 5th TOWER Conference will take place in Houston, TX on September 9-10 2014.


2014 promises a year of rapid development with secured growth of major wind energy markets as wind energy remains the fastest growing alternative energy in the world.

Hosted by the Houston office of the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern US, Inc., the 5th TOWER Conference will unite wind energy experts from Europe, Mexico, Canada and the US in interactive discussion on the latest developments and opportunities in the North American wind market. The TOWER Conference will provide participants the opportunity to advance organizational missions while networking with global wind industry leaders.

While Germany and the U.K. continue to drive the wind energy market, expectations of stabilization and growth in both the US and China wind energy markets, as well as the emerging growth of markets in countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Turkey, guarantees a significant improvement in the wind energy markets in 2014, after global wind demand lessened in 2013.

In addition, the recent energy reforms in Mexico, passed in December 2013, will open all segments of the energy sector to private firms, subsequently increasing economic activity in Texas border cities and the demand for infrastructure improvement throughout Mexico.

This year’s program will address the state of the wind industry globally and locally through 25 hours of cutting-edge information, intensive discussion and powerful networking. Topics will include wind law, environmental issues, ports & infrastructure, finance & insurance, and turbine installations.

TOWER attendees represent the core of global wind energy professionals that are actively searching for new business opportunities and partners, as well as solutions and education on all things related to wind- on- and offshore.

TOWER offers sponsorship opportunities that provide an ideal platform to enhance your image and increase your visibility as a market leader in the wind industry. Sponsors also have the opportunity to utilize exhibitor space to promote their products and services to TOWER attendees.

To connect, learn and engage with global wind energy leaders, register here to attend the TOWER conference.