This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 16, 2005

Two Companies Get a Boost from Wind Turbine Manufacturing

A photo of a crane lifting a wind tower.

A crane prepares to lift a wind tower into place on a farm in Iowa. A growing number of companies are benefiting from wind power, producing components such as wind towers.
Credit: Tjaden Farms

While utilities, wind turbine manufacturers, and wind project developers grab most of the wind power headlines, the growth in the wind turbine business is providing economic benefits for smaller companies as well. A case in point is Aerisyn, LLC, a manufacturer of metal towers for wind turbines, which announced in late January that it will build North America's first automated wind tower production facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, this summer. The $7-million facility will create 75 new jobs initially and as many as 150 new jobs within the next three years. The plant will be located in an existing building that has long bays, a heavy-duty crane, and easy access to the port, all of which are ideal for wind tower construction. Ironically, the building was previously used for building nuclear reactor components. See the press release from the City of Chattanooga.

The growth in wind power is also benefiting Missouri-based Zoltec Companies Inc., a manufacturer of carbon fibers, which can be used to provide strength to wind turbine blades. Zoltec recently signed an agreement with Vestas Wind Systems AS of Denmark to provide up to $100 million worth of carbon fiber and carbon fiber materials over the next three years. To meet the increased demand, the company is starting up five idled production lines in Abilene, Texas, and plans to double its worldwide production capacity by 2006. See the Zoltec Web site and press release (MS Word 30 KB).