Focus on Energy: Helps Bring Wind Power Manufacturing Jobs to Stevens Point
Jennifer Dryburgh / Tim Wirtz
414-225-9535 / 414-225-9522
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
- New venture signals wind energy’s growing vitality -
MADISON, Wis. (April 28, 2004) – Wisconsin's wind power industry gained momentum when a consulting firm received a Focus on Energy grant that helped establish North America’s first fully automated facility for manufacturing components for utility-scale wind turbines. Midwest Windgineering, a wind power consulting firm based in Muskego, received the $25,000 grant to establish Wisconsin as magnet for manufacturing wind energy components. The result of its efforts is the newly formed Stevens Point, Wis., based Global Energy Systems.
The company plans to be fully operational this fall and employ about 100 people, including 75 skilled labor positions. By producing components such as towers, flanges, gearboxes, bedplates and hubs, Global Energy Systems expects to generate between $50 million and $75 million in orders in its first full year of production.
The centerpiece of this venture is the wind tower fabricating operation that will be housed in the new facility going up next to the former Woodward Governor building. Global Energy Systems aims to produce more than 200 towers a year ranging from 210 feet to 300 feet in height and 120 tons to 200 tons in weight.
“This move will elevate Wisconsin to the forefront of wind power component manufacturing in North America,” said William Stone, director of business development for Global Energy Systems. “There are about 400 megawatts of wind generation in Wisconsin’s development pipeline right now; there has never been a better opportunity to integrate Wisconsin manufacturers into the renewable energy supply chain.
By having Global Energy Systems in the state, Wisconsin’s utilities will be able to meet or exceed their commitment to the installation of approximately 240 wind turbines by 2006. These wind turbines will produce about 1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, the equivalent of what 125,000 households consume in one year.
“This venture sends a powerful message to wind energy manufacturers overseas,” said Michael Vickerman, who leads Focus on Energy’s ongoing initiative to organize a wind power manufacturing presence in Wisconsin. “Wisconsin welcomes wind power development and the companies that will make it happen.”
Part of the Focus on Energy Renewable Energy program is to offer grants that provide financial support for developing business skills and marketing materials for renewable energy organizations and businesses. Business and marketing grants, like the one received by Midwest Windgineering, are awarded to assist in developing business plans, gaining market recognition, better understanding of their market, training employees, gaining certification, and other related activities. These grants do not support the purchase of renewable energy equipment, or the costs of product research and development, which can be obtained from other grant categories offered by the Focus on Energy Renewable Energy program.
About the Focus on Energy Renewable Energy Program
Focus on Energy is a public-private partnership that provides energy efficiency and renewable energy information and services to the state's energy utility customers. Focus on Energy's Renewable Energy program seeks to raise awareness, provide training and financing, enhance marketing, promote technical assistance and support the installation of renewable energy technologies across Wisconsin. Focus on Energy provides applications, with full program details, at 800-762-7077 or at focusonenergy.com