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WINDPOWER 2008: Nordex to Build US Production Facility

Houston, TX – Another large wind turbine manufacturer has decided to get in on the incredible growth in the U.S. wind energy industry by building a new manufacturing facility. The German company Nordex, announced Tuesday at WINDPOWER 2008** that it will be spending around $100 million over the next few years to establish its own U.S. production facilities for turbines and blades. As early as 2009, the first locally produced 2.5 MW N80/90 wind turbines will be entering the US market. The investment will be spent on establishing annual production capacity of 750 megawatts by 2012. As of 2010, Nordex wants to invest two thirds of this sum in rotor blade production. Roughly 600 jobs will be created at the new production facility.

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to sit down with company founder Carsten Pederson for a couple of minutes to talk about the new U.S. manufacturing facility and what effect a lapse in the federal renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) might have on the wind energy industry. He jokingly agreed to chat with me under the conditions that I didn’t ask him tough questions like where exactly the new facility would be located (presumably because they haven’t finalized the deal yet).

Considering wind energy was the second largest source of new electricity on the U.S. electrical grid in 2007, it is not hard to understand why Nordex wants to move ahead with a U.S. production facility. Of more interest to me is what Mr. Pederson felt about the possible lapse in the PTC, and whether it could cause the booming wind energy industry to sag at a very critical juncture. Like most of the 13,000 conference attendees, Pederson would prefer a long term extension of the tax credit, but he also told me that they were moving ahead with construction plans in spite of the uncertain future of the policy mechanism.

“Politicians should extend the PTC for a few years, now. What we need is a stable long-term policy,” said Pederson, adding that there might be a dip in the “very short term” if it is left to expire, but that projected long-term increases increases in electricity demand, and the increase in state-level incentives and renewable portfolio standards would continue to make wind economically viable and politically expedient, with or without the PTC.

Pederson also mentioned that the U.S. was not so different from Europe, in that strong political pressure is bubbling up from the grassroots for more renewable energy, but that politicians feel more comfortable saying they support renewable energy, than actually enacting legislation doing so.

**Special thanks to the American Wind Energy Association for providing travel and lodging support for WINDPOWER 2008.

Photo courtesy of Nordex

Related Posts:

“The ‘Unlimited Potential of American Wind Power: AWEA”

“WINDPOWER 2008: A Texas-Sized Conference”

 

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Written By

is the founder of ecopolitology and the executive editor at LiveOAK Media, a media network about the politics of energy and the environment, green business, cleantech, and green living. When not reading, writing, thinking or talking about environmental politics with anyone who will listen, Tim spends his time skiing in Colorado's high country, hiking with his dog, and getting dirty in his vegetable garden.

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