[UPDATED with Looming Federal Regs:] Windpower Convention Blows into Anaheim

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UPDATE, MAY 26, 8:33 A.M.: Talk about taking the wind out of your sails.

An official of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) informed attendees of the Windpower 2011 Convention & Exhibition at the Anaheim Convention Center that a process begins next year to formally regulate the wind industry.

Other power generators operating under onerous government regulations may have cheered the news--well, if they don't also own wind farms, which until now have managed to stay off OSHA's mouse-on-a-treadmill-powered radar.

Before safety regs are written, OSHA will continue to inspect wind farms, turbine supply agreements and maintenance agreements as issues arise, the official told attendees of the four-day convention that ended Wednesday.

The development prompted a Renewable Energy World blogger to recommend wind farmers retain lawyers now so they will be in place to help guide them through the looming government maze.

So there is a group cheering the news.

ORIGINAL POST, MAY 23, 8:33 A.M.: Remember wind-generated energy, that relic of the recent past intended to blow us off our foreign oil fix? It's back like a 90 mph gust through Wednesday at the Anaheim Convention Center, site of the Windpower 2011 Convention & Exhibition.

Welcoming attendees this morning are Ted Turner and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback--because when you think high winds, you think Kansas.

Presented by the American Wind Energy Association lobbying group, the convention that began Sunday is expecting nearly 20,000 wind industry leaders, government officials and business executives, 1,200 companies exhibiting on the showroom floor and gut-busters from dinner show entertainer Jay Leno.

Organizers say California was chosen for the location because of the leadership role the state has taken in setting the strongest renewable target in the U.S.: 33 percent renewables by 2020.

The California Wind Energy Association, the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies and the Great Lakes Wind Network are among the organizations co-presenting the event. For more details, visit WindPowerExpo.org

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