Wind blows in Iowa

TPI Composites plans to build a new 316,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Newton, Iowa to produce blades for GE’s 1.5MW wind turbines.


Rhode Island-based TPI Composites plans to build a new 316,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Newton, Iowa to produce blades for GE’s 1.5MW wind turbines, which are among the most widely used wind turbines in the world.


Last month, VienTek, a joint venture between TPI and Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas opened its second wind blade manufacturing plant in Juarez, Mexico. In addition to those two sites, the company also has manufacturing plants in Warren, Rhode Island, Springfield, Ohio and TaiCang in China.


With the expansion in Iowa, the company will reach an estimated 1.1m2 feet of manufacturing space in 2008.


The race is on to make turbine blades for GE. Just last week, Molded Fiber Glass Companies (MFG) announced that it too had opened a new wind turbine manufacturing plant – this time in Aberdeen, South Dakota – that will also build blades for GE’s 1.5MW machine.


This new facility will be owned by the Aberdeen Development Corporation (ADC), and leased and operated by Molded Fiber Glass Companies (MFG), a producer of composite parts for a variety of industries, including wind energy, automotive, heavy truck, material handling, water treatment, construction, and defence.


With a 500 per cent increase in wind turbine production since 2004, GE expects its wind business revenues to exceed $4bn this year. Over the past two years, GE has supplied wind turbines representing more than 50 per cent of the new wind capacity across the US.