Gyeongsang, Korea and Urban Green Energy, New York (USA)
Koreans from Gyeongsang seem to love Urban Green Energy! In early June, a government delegation of 17 from the Green Environment Office in Gyeongsangbuk-Do Province visited our office to learn about renewable energy facilities available in NYC, urban greening, and green energy development.
The government officials and policy makers of this province in South Korea oohed, aahed, and even applauded, as they listened to CEO and Co-Founder Nick Blitterswyk give a company overview and introduce each employee and intern to the delegates. They seemed to enjoy their visit, which was part of a 7 day tour of renewable energy companies in the US and Canada. The translator remarked that the delegates were amazed at how different our office atmosphere was compared to that in Korea. They liked the warm and friendly atmosphere and the great diversity they saw in our office.
Their visit was definitely a fun intercultural exchange. We learned that there's a wind energy village in Gyeongsangbuk called Youngduk Wind Park. Hopefully, the government officials will keep us in mind and our turbines will be present in the wind village soon! The Korean President is also paying close attention to wind energy, which is a good sign.
AND today, a second group of Koreans from Gyeongsang dropped by to visit! This time it was a group of 5 engineering students from the Third Energy Impact (TEI) team at Gyeongsang National University. They found out about us while searching the web for renewable energy. They were particularly impressed by our vertical axis wind turbines, their small wind application, and our hybrid wind solar streetlamps. They told us that one of their projects was to design a 1kW vertical axis wind turbine and their professor manufactures hybrid streetlamps! Gyeongsang National University's Global Pioneer Program (GPP), which allows students to study abroad and learn more about their field of study, sponsored their trip.
Leading off their visit was a quick 10 minute presentation that covered the parts of the turbine and the aerodynamic properties of the blades given by our VP of Engineering. This was followed by 30 minutes of Q&A, which covered everything from the difference between horizontal and vertical axis wind turbines (why VAWTs are better :)) to permitting and certification to blade construction. Luckily, we have a Korean intern with us this summer who helped out with translation during both visits. She said that the engineering students would like to thank everybody at UGE for their warm welcome, even though they did not speak out loud enough!
It was also very interesting to learn that research on vertical axis turbines was the topic of their graduation project; their research on wind energy is sponsored by the university. In May 2011, Gyeongsang National University was chosen to participate in the "Renewable Energy Testbed Project" led by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, supporting the Korean government's low carbon green growth policy. Perhaps Gyeongsang's national university and province will lead the way for small wind in Korea!
Thanks to both groups for their visit! We enjoyed hosting you!
Pictured above: Delegation from Gyeongsangbuk-Do Province's Green Environment Office visitng Urban Green Energy's New York office.
Written by Ann