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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wind energy development and jobs grow in the Midwest, but not Wisconsin

From an article by Dan Piller in the the Des Moises (Iowa) Register:

State grants West Branch wind facility $3 million

The Iowa Power Fund on Thursday awarded Acciona Wind Energy a $3 million grant to help finance a $19.9 million demonstration project near Mechanicsville that will show off Acciona's new three-megawatt wind energy system.

"One tower will be steel and the other concrete. We've had requests for both," said Joe Baker, president of Acciona's plant at West Branch.

The four-year-old West Branch operation makes the nacelles, or the box behind the blade that houses the gears and generation capacity.

Acciona has focused on building 1.5-megawatt wind systems, but the larger units are becoming more standard in the industry, Baker said.

MidAmerican Energy's wind farms in west-central Iowa have three-megawatt turbines.

"Within seven to 10 years most of the wind turbines will be three megawatts," he said. A megawatt of electricity can power 200 to 500 standard-sized homes.

Iowa has 3,675 megawatts of wind generation capacity, ranking second behind Texas in total capacity and first as a percentage of its total electricity generation capacity

Acciona is a century-old Spanish company with roots in construction and water treatment. The West Branch facility, opened in 2007, is its only U.S. wind equipment factory, but Acciona operates five wind farms in Illinois, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Nevada and California.

From an article by Laurenne Ramsdell on Fosters.com:

Goss in Durham (MA) delivers first turbine to Chicago-area

DURHAM — Goss International unveiled its newly developed wind turbine components to area officials and state representatives on Thursday morning.

Goss, primarily a printing press company, has worked throughout the past year with Aeronautica Windpower, a Massachusetts-based licensing company, to cross train employees in order to produce the massive turbines.

According to Greg Norris, marketing communications manager for Goss, the first wind turbine that Goss has manufactured will be ready for shipment to Illinois next week. Norris said the eco-friendly equipment will be delivered to Testa Produce, a Chicago-based wholesale produce distributor.

Norris stressed the turbines are midscale electromechanical pieces of equipment that will be used for warehouses, farms, schools and universities, factories, small housing developments and an array of commercial sites.

Those who attended the update session had the opportunity to tour the area of Goss where the 750 kilowatt and 225 kilowatt machines are being manufactured. Wearing safety goggles, the representatives stood in awe at the size and power of the turbines being created.

As of Thursday, the 750 kilowatt turbine going to Illinois was in pieces for shipping purposes. Once the pieces are assembled, the machine is comparable in size to a small school bus.

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