Paul Woodin, community wind expert, passes
The community-wind segment of the wind power industry this week mourned the death of Paul Woodin, facilitator and advocate of community wind power and Vietnam veteran, who passed away on March 2 at the Oregon Veterans’ Home. He was 64.
Born in Illinois and raised in New York state, Woodin developed a base of knowledge applicable to wind energy by graduating from Florida Air Academy in 1965 and St. Louis University’s Parks College of Aeronautical Technology in 1972. It wasn’t until after stints at Lockheed in Burbank, Calif., and a Martin Marietta Aluminum plant in Goldendale, Wash., however, that Woodin found his wind power calling. When the aluminum plant closed, Woodin started his own business assisting community wind projects and most recently worked with the Community Renewable Energy Association of Oregon.
Woodin was heavily involved in working with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in defending and implementing the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) in the Pacific Northwest. PURPA remains the prevailing federal policy enabling community wind projects to interconnect to utilities at avoided cost in the Western Interconnect. At the time of his death, Woodin was active in advocating for PURPA reform to facilitate community wind project development.
AWEA Deputy Director for Distributed and Community Wind Larry Flowers, who attended the memorial service, said the event was filled with stories of Woodin’s accomplishments and victories on behalf of community wind in the Northwest. “But what touched me most,” said Flowers, “was the respect and love that this family expressed about a caring, involved, and nurturing dad and husband. Paul fought the good fight with determination and commitment, a role model for all of us.”
The playing of “Taps,” as well as a presentation-of-the-flag ceremony, provided “the proper tribute of a decorated Vietnam veteran,” said Flowers.
Woodin is survived by his wife Katie Woodin, daughter Erica Woodin, son John, sister Roberta Cabot and grandson Jonah Frank.