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Ground was broken this week in the Mojave Desert near Los Angeles for the Alta Wind project — expected to become the world’s largest wind energy site, with nearly 600 turbines capable of producing 1,550MW of electricity when completed, with the potential to be doubled, according to developer Terra-Gen Power LLC of New York City. The currently funded first five phases will produce 720MW, according to a company statement. Financing for the initial phases totaled $1.6 billion, the company said. The project is being developed in a region studded with turbines that use the energy of winds sweeping across the Tehachapi Mountains to produce electricity. Southern California Edison, which has contracted to buy 1,550MW from Alta Wind, recently completed the first phase of a transmission system to carry electricity from renewable energy sources in the Mojave Desert, to the Los Angeles region. The groundbreaking comes two years after Terra-Gen Power and ArcLight Capital Partners LLC purchased Tehachapi-area wind farm assets from Allco Finance Group Ltd. of Sydney, Australia, for $325 million. Allco, which was restructuring after problems stemming from the global credit crunch, had negotiated the power deal with SoCal Edison in 2006. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger hailed the Terra-Gen Power project in a statement. “Having the world’s largest wind project break ground in our state is tangible evidence that our pioneering policies are drawing investment, improving the economy and creating jobs now when we need them most,” he said. In late June, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power commissioners approved a long-term pact for more than 100MW from an expansion of the Milford Wind Farm in Utah. The deal requires City Council approval. The DWP already receives 185MW from the original 200-MW Milford wind farm.
Airport cities rapidly are becoming a central part of regional economic development strategies across the world. These airport hubs will be the focus of an upcoming event organized by Insight Media called “Aviation–The Catalyst for Economic Development” (ACED). The ACED Conference & Exhibition, co-located with the 16th World Route Development Forum (World Routes), will take place September 20-21, 2010 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Canada. ACED 2010 explores the positive contribution that international gateway airport cities make to regional development and economic growth using a series of industry case studies. ACED 2010 will quantify the catalytic contribution of airports to this dynamic process and highlight the role of key partners including airports, airlines, economic development agencies, real-estate developers and the financial and investment communities. The ACED conference will provide a prime opportunity to network with economic development agencies, architects and planners who are active in airport development, real estate developers interested in airport city projects, major construction and development companies, and real estate investment trusts and financial institutions. Speakers at ACED 2010 will include: Robert Boyle, Director of Business Strategy, British Airways Vijay Poonoosamy, Vice President International & Public Affairs, Etihad Airways/Chairman – IATA Industry Affairs Committee Fariba Alamdari, Vice President Market & Value Analysis, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Charles E Schlumberger, Principal Air Transport Specialist, The World Bank Group Jeff Fegan, CEO, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Rainer Schwarz, CEO, Berlin Airports Robert Ficano, CEO, Wayne County Executive Patrick Heck, CFO, Denver International Airport ACED 2010 will be co-located at the 16th World Route Development Forum (World Routes) for the second year in a row. World Routes is the annual meeting place of the air service development community and is the world’s largest gathering of airline and airport senior executives. ACED delegates have complimentary access to the joint ICAO/World Bank/Global Aviation Strategy Summit 2010 sessions 1 & 2 on September 20, 2010, all lunches & refreshment breaks in the Routes Networking Village, Boeing Tours and additional Social Networking activities.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has announced that Blade Dynamics will manufacture advanced wind turbine blades and wind turbine components at the Michoud Assembly Facility, or MAF, in New Orleans. Blade Dynamics has committed to create 600 new, direct jobs by 2015 at an average annual salary of about $48,000, plus benefits, as well as a capital investment of approximately $13 million. LED estimates the new, direct jobs will result in the creation of more than 970 new, indirect jobs, for a total of more than 1,570 new, direct and indirect jobs in Louisiana. In addition, LED estimates the Blade Dynamics project will result in $35.8 million in new, state tax revenue and $23.9 million in new, local tax revenue over the next 10 years. Gov. Jindal was joined at the announcement ceremony by Blade Dynamics Ltd. co-Founder and Sales Director Theo Botha, Dow Chemical’s Global Business Director of Government Markets & Lightweight Materials Douglas Parks, American Superconductor Corp. Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer John Collett, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Director Robert Lightfoot and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “This is a huge win for New Orleans and our whole state,” said Gov. Jindal. “By recruiting Blade Dynamics and its revolutionary wind power technologies to Louisiana, we are creating hundreds of high-paying new jobs in New Orleans while diversifying the economy of this region. Today’s announcement marks a significant step forward for Louisiana into renewable energy and green manufacturing that will help us continue to grow our economy.” Blade Dynamics has developed wind turbine blade technologies designed to increase the efficiency and performance of high power (multimegawatt) wind turbines, while also reducing costs. Dow, through its Venture Capital group, and AMSC each have made a minority equity investment in Blade Dynamics. Gov. Jindal continued: “Louisiana possesses a remarkable combination of assets that make our state an outstanding place in which to launch a green business. We have a low-cost manufacturing environment, well-established transportation and logistics networks, an experienced workforce in energy production and experience in rebuilding with green techniques. Indeed, renewable energy and green manufacturing is one of our target growth industries that will help to diversify our economy, attract more businesses to Louisiana and most importantly, create more jobs for our people so they can find the same kinds of opportunities here that historically they have had to pursue in places like Dallas, Houston or Atlanta.” “We see tremendous potential for our technology and are delighted to align ourselves with American Superconductor Corp. and The Dow Chemical Co.,” said […]
The South Carolina Department of Commerce and York County have announced that Supermetal Structures will locate its new manufacturing plant in York County. The $6.6 million investment is expected to generate at least 125 new jobs. “The addition of a fabrication plant in the United States is a major coup for Supermetal. From now on we can include American content in our bids for government contracts. We will also be better equipped to serve the southern part of the continent and to protect ourselves from variations in the exchange rate,” said Jean-François Blouin, president and general manager of Supermetal. “Along with our enviable reputation and established position in North America, this addition will reinforce our competitiveness and speed our growth over the coming years.” The new facility represents Supermetal Structures first investment in the U.S. The company has purchased the former Worthington Steel Building at 1345 Hall Spencer Road, and expects to have the facility online by the end of August. Supermetal Structures supplies, fabricates and erects structural steel for all types of projects whether they are in the commercial, institutional, industrial or civil sectors. “South Carolina continues to attract investment from companies across the globe and Supermetal Structures’ decision to invest here is yet another example. York County was able to provide the company an excellent structure for adaptive reuse. Couple that with South Carolina’s business-friendly climate, skilled workforce and exceptional market access, and it is clear why Supermetal Structures chose to invest and create jobs here. We welcome the company to our state’s business community and look forward to their growth here,” said Joe Taylor, SC secretary of commerce. York County Council Chairman Buddy Motz said, “International companies like Supermetal represent unique opportunities to showcase York County’s business assets to the world. We look forward to the new jobs and investment this company brings and appreciate their commitment to our community.” The company has already begun the hiring process to fill positions at the plant. Anyone interested in job opportunities with the company should contact the Rock Hill Workforce Center at 1228 Fincher Road, or call (803) 328-3881. An established Canadian manufacturer in North America, Supermetal Structures is known for the quality of its service, its culture of teamwork and its excellent labor relations. The Saint-Romuald-based company has more than 450 employees and specializes in the manufacture and installation of structural steel intended for commercial or industrial buildings.
Caterpillar Inc. plans to invest $150 million to build a manufacturing plant in Victoria, TX that will create 500 jobs when it’s fully operational. The Victoria Economic Development Corp. will provide $5.5 million in incentives to have the equipment giant become the primary tenant at the 320-acre Lone Tree Business Center. Caterpillar Inc. will take over the entire park, which has been largely vacant for almost 10 years, to build a 600,000-square-foot plant. The city council is scheduled to approve a 10-year, 100-percent property tax abatement on city taxes. The commissioners court will consider the same deal for county taxes after the council acts. That’s the maximum abatement allowed by the state. Mayor Will Armstrong said the tax abatement is an incentive any community would have been willing to offer in exchange for the size investment Caterpillar plans to make. The abatement applies only to the improvements the company plans to make, which include a 600,000-square-foot building to manufacture hydraulic excavators. It does not apply to the property on which the plant will be built.
Medical device maker Biomet Inc. will expand operations at its base in the northern Indiana city of Warsaw and create 278 jobs by the end of 2012. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. announced the expansion, saying Biomet plans to invest $26 million in the project by expanding its headquarters and research and development operations and upgrading equipment. The company also will transfer some manufacturing from New Jersey. The state economic development agency offered Biomet up to $2.75 million in tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants. The Kosciusko County Council has approved 10-year real and personal property tax abatements. Biomet makes products used mostly by orthopedic surgeons for procedures like hip or knee implants.
Viper Motorcycle Company has announced plans to begin manufacturing motorcycles in Auburn, AL. The company will move its operations from Hopkins, MN to Auburn as soon as possible with full production beginning in 2011. A new facility in Auburn Technology Park West will become the new headquarters and production facility for Viper. Company officials expect the creation of 100 new jobs in Auburn over the next two years. Viper Motorcycle, a subsidiary of Viper Powersports Inc., produces high performance, super cruiser motorcycles for bike enthusiasts. The motorcycles are produced with over 80% of proprietary parts designed and manufactured by Viper. “The Auburn facility and community support places us in a position to achieve our annual goal of 2000 motorcycles and 2000 aftermarket engines within 5 years,” added John Silseth, CEO of Viper Powersports. Company officials say the timing is ideal to relocate their operation and that Auburn has all of the assets for the Company to expand and satisfy the increased demand. “The market is ready for a new original equipment manufacturer to be a leader in the super cruiser niche,” said Terry Nesbitt, president of Viper Motorcycle Co. Andrew Broadley, Technical Director of Viper Motorcycle Company, sees the proximity to Auburn University as an opportunity to integrate a wealth of knowledge and expertise from students and faculty. “The ability to develop a relationship with such a high-quality University is of particular interest on the technical side, which will allow us to expand our research and development capability towards new projects,” said Broadley. The company sees unique opportunities for creative students to be involved in design and engineering, he added. AL State Representative Mike Hubbard and Gov. Bob Riley assisted in recruiting the Company to Alabama and both had seen the product prior to its official launch. Gov. Riley congratulated Auburn on the economic development news. “This is a great win for Auburn and really for our entire state. We’re proud to welcome Alabama’s latest economic development success to Alabama and look forward to a long and productive relationship with Viper. I know I’m definitely looking forward to seeing those bikes that will be built in Alabama out on the road,” Riley said. State Representative Mike Hubbard welcomed the new company to Auburn. “The company was attracted to the area because of its excellent conditions including skilled personnel, a diverse manufacturing base, Auburn University, and the local quality of life,” Hubbard said. Auburn City officials say the announcement is good news for the local economy. “We are proud to bring in another dynamic company that […]
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger probably thought he was taking a well-deserved break from California’s endless budget crisis when he agreed to film a cameo in Sylvester Stallone’s new action movie, The Expendables. The Governator’s brief star turn comes at the beginning of Stallone’s new opus, which features an all-star cast of aging action heroes and has been met with a less-than-enthusiastic reception by film critics since its Aug. 3 world premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Arnold was supposed to walk the red carpet at the famous pagoda-shaped film house on Aug. 3, but he had to sneak in through the theater’s back door when he was confronted by angry state workers protesting Schwarzenegger’s decision to order them to take unpaid “vacations.” With furloughs originally set to take effect on Friday, state workers also have responded by creating a mock-up of The Expendables movie poster. The fake poster is illustrated with a muscular back sporting a tattoo of the state capital with a vulture perched atop it. It lists Arnold as the star of the film and has a revised title: “The Expendables—State Employees Won’t Know What Hit Them.” Service Employees International Union Local 1000, the Association of California State Supervisors, the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association and other unions are suing to stop the furloughs. They say the cuts amount to a 15 percent reduction in pay. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Steven A. Brick said Monday that the unions had raised “serious questions” about the governor’s ability to order the unpaid vacations. Judge Brick blocked the furloughs pending a resolution of the court case. Lawyers for Gov. Schwarzenegger appealed the decision on Tuesday. We’re just guessing here, but we suspect that if Judge Brick’s wall against the furlough scheme turns into a permanent injunction, Schwarzenegger may be tempted to dust off a favorite old movie script and reprise one of the most famous scenes in his cinematic oeuvre. Arnold will turn slowly to the camera, eyes glaring, and inform the protesting state workers: “You are terminated!”
In what is being hailed as a major victory for U.S. manufacturing, two of China’s leading power generation companies have agreed to use U.S.-made components to build a $1.5-billion wind farm in Texas after two U.S. senators and several major unions protested that the original project plan would have sent 2,000 jobs overseas. The United Steelworkers (USW) announced it has cut the landmark deal with A-Power Energy Generation Systems Ltd, and Shenyang Power Group (SPG), two of China’s leading alternative energy companies. The Chinese companies agreed to source 50,000 tons of steel from U.S. producers as well as “ work together on all aspects of the companies’ U.S. market strategies—including manufacturing, assembly, component sourcing, distribution and wind energy project development,” according to the AFL-CIO blog site. The two Chinese power generation giants are involved in a project to build a 615 MW Texas wind farm. The deal with the USW was reached after public outrage that only 30 U.S. jobs would be generated from the Texas project, while 2000 jobs would go to workers in China. Two U.S. senators, Charles Schumer of New York and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, had threatened to block federal stimulus funds for the project if a significant portion of the work did not go to U.S. parts manufacturers and steel producers. “We will work with A-Power and SPG to create long-term, good-paying, green American jobs,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard, after the deal was reached. “The USW is committed to building a strong domestic supply chain that will be key to the future of America’s global renewable energy leadership.” “Through our partnership with the U.S. Renewable Energy Group, we had the unique opportunity to meet President Gerard and understand his vision for win-win relationships between manufacturers and workers,” said Mr. Jinxiang Lu, Shenyang Power Group chairman and CEO. “We quickly discovered that our company’s high standards at every level of the clean energy technology supply chain were the same as those of the USW. A-Power, SPG and USW know that the success of our organizations is dependent on developing the world’s most sophisticated and skilled workforce.” “It is an honor to team up with the Steelworkers for this historic partnership that will result in hundreds of American jobs and help create a clean energy future for the U.S.” said Cappy McGarr, US-REG Managing Partner. “We look forward to working closely with the USW on further projects to help expand wind power and renewable energy in the U.S.” “Our cooperation with USW will benefit the […]
Stanly County and two towns will offer Michelin $900,000 in incentives for the promise of adding 70 jobs to the company’s aircraft tire plant just outside of Norwood. Michelin plans to spend $11 million to expand its aircraft tire retreading operation and add the jobs to the plant’s work force of 320. Kevin Gullette, executive director of the Stanly County Economic Development Commission says the tire company attracted 1,100 applications through the North Carolina Employment Security Commission when it announced hiring plans. The expansion is slated to be completed in the first quarter of 2011. The expansion will bring retreading of aviation tires to complement the current new aviation tire business. The new jobs will vary in salary depending on job function. However, the annual wage will be $35,884 plus benefits. The Stanly County average is $28,288. “Michelin’s Norwood facility is where some of the best aviation tires in the world are made: tires for commercial planes, military jets and the space shuttle,” noted Dick Wilkerson, chairman and president of Michelin North America. The Norwood plant has produced tires for the space shuttle and is also the major supplier of every branch of the U.S. According to aviation officials, on commercial airlines, 25 percent of the tires are new while 75 percent are retreads; tires are retreaded 3-5 times each.