ACCIONA Windpower's first wind turbine plant in the US will be operational this year (26/04/2007)
Located in Iowa, the plant represents an investment of 17 million euros and will have a production capacity of 250 turbines in 2008, a figure that is forecast to rise in later years. It will assemble 1.5 MW and 3 MW wind turbines; the larger model is at an advanced stage of development.
Next week ACCIONA Windpower will begin construction work on its first wind turbine plant in the United States; the facility is expected to be operational by the end of the year. It represents an investment of 16.9 million euros and will produce 250 AW-1500 wind turbines in 2008 using in-house technology. The selected site is West Branch, in the State of Iowa. It is the company's fourth wind turbine assembly plant, with another two in Spain and a third in China.
The choice of Iowa is due to its excellent logistical location in relation to a large number of wind power projects of the ACCIONA Group in the United States, and also to factors such as the existence of an industrial supplier base nearby, the support of the State and the city of West Branch for the investment, and the availability of a skilled workforce and technical training centers. Iowa holds third place in wind power capacity in the US after Texas and California.
The facility will cover 10,000 square meters on a 140,000 m2 site and will create over 100 new jobs in West Branch. ACCIONA Windpower is currently working on structuring a network of US suppliers for the plant, which will eventually become part of the overall supply chain of the company.
For the second consecutive year, in 2006 the USA was the country where wind power facilities were implemented at the fastest rate, which has enabled it to take second place from Spain in the world ranking of accumulated wind power capacity. ACCIONA has major projects under way in the US, some of which will be materialized this year.
ACCIONA's West Branch plant will supply wind turbines for wind farms located throughout North America and will provide the company, when it is operating at full capacity, with worldwide production capacity of 1,740 wind turbines for a total of 2,610 MW per year.
The West Branch facility will utilize ACCIONA's proprietary technology to produce its AW-1500 models, with rotor diameters of 77 and 82 meters for tower heights of 80 meters. The plant will also have the capacity to manufacture the company's future 3 megawatt AW-3000 model turbine.
ACCIONA Windpower is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ACCIONA Energía, the world leader in the renewables sector, with a presence in eight technologies.. In wind power the company has implemented 4,357 MW in 163 windparks located in 10 countries, of which 3,133 MW are owned by the company. It has three biomass plants- one of them a 25 MW straw-fired facility- and 59 MW in small hydro power stations. In solar energy it has installed 29 MW of photovoltaic power, equivalent to 23 MW of thermal power, and is currently building the biggest plant of this type in the world in the last 15 years in the United States. It produces 1,500 kW wind turbines using in-house technology and quality homologated biodiesel, and also bioethanol from wine-surplus alcohol.