When most people think about renewable energy and the Nevada desert, the image of large solar installations comes to mind. But Chinese company A-Power Energy Generation Systems (NasdaqGS: APWR) and American Nevada Group (ANC) and U.S. Renewable Energy Group (US-REG) are creating a different kind of renewable energy job in the state; wind turbine manufacturing.
They plan to develop and construct a new wind turbine production and assembly plant in Nevada that will supply project developers in North and South America. Most of the components will be made in the U.S.
A-Power built China’s largest wind turbine manufacturing facility, located in Shenyang, in 2008.
The Nevada facility is planned to be 320,000 square feet with annual production capacity of 1,100 megawatts of wind energy turbines, enough to power 330,000 homes. The facility is expected to employ approximately 1,000 workers, with additional jobs created during plant development.
A-Power and US-REG), a U.S. based private equity firm (which seems to be closely tied to China’s A-Power), also teamed up on a $1.5 billion Texas wind farm, financed mostly by Chinese banks with the hope of some help from U.S. government loan guarantees and grants.
The Nevada manufacturing plant may be a direct result of controversy surrounding the $450 million from the U.S. Government stimulus package that the companies hoped to access for the Texas project. The companies promised that 70% of the components would be made in the U.S. and the Nevada site may end up supplying some of those domestic parts.
China’s big play in U.S. wind points to a weakness in the U.S. renewable energy sector; development is behind that of China and Europe. The allocation of U.S. stimulus funds into wind reflect the need for more development among U.S. companies.
… roughly three-quarters of the stimulus’s $1.9 billion in wind-energy grants distributed so far have gone to foreign-owned companies, according to an analysis by the Investigative Reporting Workshop, a nonprofit journalism program affiliated with American University.
Matt Rogers, a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, confirmed that this analysis was likely accurate, but said that although the stimulus funds may have gone to foreign companies, the funds created 17,000 United States jobs and supported investments in the United States worth roughly $10 billion. – New York Times
A-Power and US-REG announced the U.S. manufacturing plant back in November, but the location in Nevada is a more recent development.
"Senate Majority Leader Reid’s vision for the development of clean energy industries in his home state, Nevada’s position relative to the major wind corridors, and the strength and sophistication of Nevada’s skilled workforce made Nevada the best option for our headquarters and assembly plant for North and South America,” said Mr. Jinxiang Lu, CEO and Chairman of A-Power.
And the location in the home state of the majority leader probably didn’t hurt either.
"When Senator Reid found out US-REG and A-Power wanted to build a wind turbine manufacturing plant in the United States, he told us that Nevada was poised to be at the epicenter of America’s commitment to renewable energy technology,” said Ed Cunningham, US-REG Managing Partner. "Add to that Nevada’s business-friendly climate, we felt that Nevada would be the ideal place to invest in this manufacturing hub. This multi-million dollar investment in Nevada will further advance the Senate Majority Leader’s clean energy initiatives while allowing out of work Nevadans to re-enter the work force in high-paying, stable, green jobs.”
Learn more about Wind Power on eBoom's Wind Energy Learning Page.
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