Saturday, January 19, 2008
Wind Energy has impact on local economy
Wind Energy Weekly.With the state's governor and other dignitaries joining the celebration inWest Branch, Iowa, developer and turbine manufacturer Acciona marked theopening of its first U.S. wind turbine production plant on January 17.The $23 million project was constructed in seven months. The plant willprovide more than 100 new jobs and will produce 200 wind turbines in 2008,with plans to increase to 400 turbines per year in the future. The facilitywill supply turbines primarily for Acciona Energy wind farms throughoutNorth America and will utilize proprietary technology from its wind turbinemanufacturing subsidiary, Acciona Windpower, to produce its AWP 1.5-77models.Joining company executives and guests for the facility's official dedicationwere Iowa Governor Chet Culver (D), West Branch Mayor Sandy Hatfield, andUniversity of Iowa President Sally Mason. Senior executives from Acciona'smanagement team in Spain joined the festivities to commemorate the companymilestone.Acciona also announced a $15,000 gift to the city of West Branch inrecognition of its support for the project. The money will go toward the city's downtown enhancement effort. The Acciona project was aided by theIowa Department of Economic Development, City of West Branch, Iowa City AreaDevelopment Group, and Cedar County Economic Development Commission.Acciona's West Branch plant will increase the company's total productioncapacity to 2,280 MW a year.