Nordex USA, Inc., a leading manufacturer of wind turbines, has begun construction of its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The announcement comes after a decision by the supervisory board of the parent company, Nordex AG. “After much careful planning, we are eager to break ground and make the plant a reality,” says Ralf Sigrist, president and CEO. “The plant is critical to our goal of generating 20 percent of global revenue in the U.S., and I must say I am extremely pleased that construction will begin on schedule.”
The United States is on track to be the world’s single largest wind market in 2010, with 8,500 megawatts of new capacity projected. Globally, that represents 23 percent of expected new capacity. The Arkansas plant will position Nordex to be a key competitor in the U.S., building on its growth of over 50 percent for four consecutive years. “The U.S. is hungry for wind power,” says Sigrist, “and Jonesboro will supply it with the highest-quality turbines in the world.”
Construction will take place in two phases, beginning with the nacelle assembly plant and followed by a rotor blade manufacturing facility at the same location. Nacelle assembly will begin ramping up in the second half of 2010, operating at full scale by 2012 with an annual production capacity of 300 turbines, or 750 megawatts. The entire facility, including rotor blade production, will be fully operational by 2014. The nacelle 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 represents a total investment of $100 million, with about $40 million allocated to the nacelle plant and the remainder to the rotor blade facility. It will directly employ up to 700 skilled workers and other staff by 2014.
The Jonesboro operation will be an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) producing one of the largest classes of wind turbines in the world, the 2.5 megawatt N90 and N100. In the U.S., each of these utility-scale turbines is capable of generating enough renewable energy to power about 700 homes. Nordex was the first manufacturer to build a turbine this large in 2000 and has the longest track record for reliability in the class. To learn more go to www.nordex-online.com.