This week, the US arm of German wind turbine maker Nordex is to begin constructing its first US manufacturing plant in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
‘The plant is critical to our goal of generating 20 per cent of our global revenue in the US,’ said Ralf Sigrist, president and chief executive of Nordex USA, which is based in Chicago.
The build will take place in two phases. Nordex will initially construct a nacelle assembly plant that will then be followed by a rotor blade manufacturing facility.
Nacelle assembly will begin ramping up in the second half of 2010, and the plant will be operating at full scale by 2012 with an annual production capacity of 300 turbines. The entire facility, including the rotor blade production plant, will be fully operational by 2014.
The plant will be built on 187 acres in the Craighead Technology Park and will have 115,000 square feet of production space, 10,000 square feet for a training academy and 35,000 square feet of office space.
The plant will cost Nordex $100m (£61m) to build, about $40m of which will be used to construct the nacelle plant and £60m to build the rotor blade facility. It will directly employ up to 700 skilled workers and other staff by 2014.
The Jonesboro operation will produce one of the largest classes of wind turbines in the world, the 2.5MW N90 and N100.