Wisconsin firm buys 95 acres for wind turbine blade factory

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Energy Composites Corporation said today it has purchased two parcels of land in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, for a wind turbine blade manufacturing plant

The company said it will use a 54-acre plot in the Rapids East Commerce Center for its 535,000 square foot factory for utility-scale wind turbine blades.

A second plot, of 41 acres, will host the company’s new logistics center.

Energy Composites Corporation (ECC), which already produces composite components for the renewable energy sector at another facility in the city, said it has been approved $45 million worth of tax exemptions for the new blade factory, through Wisconsin’s Recovery Zone Bond Program.

The City of Wisconsin Rapids will be provided more than $7.5 million in development incentives to the project, including job creation cash credits and grants.

The City is also providing site improvements for ECC, work that is already underway.

The new blade factory will be operated under ECC’s WindFiber division.

Adrian Williams, the director of the division, said: “We are making good progress towards commissioning of our new wind blade plant, which is designed to produce as many as 1,500 utility scale wind blades per year for use in onshore and offshore wind farms.”

The Company expects to start commercial blade production by the end of the first quarter of 2011.

Recovery Zone

Wisconsin’s Recovery Zone Bonds scheme allows lenders to avoid federal taxes on the interest generated by the bonds used to finance projects like the WindFiber plant.

Funded by the federal Recovery Act, it will mean lower borrowing costs for the wind turbine blade manufacturers.

Meanwhile, the company said it was close to identifying a contractor to build the production facility, which would make central Wisconsin “the epicenter of the composites-in-wind world”.

Jamie Mancl, ECC’s founder and President, said: “We have narrowed our building contractor selection down, and we believe that the outcome of this competition will deliver a WindFiber™ manufacturing plant that is certified Gold under the LEED certification process within the boundaries of our initial cost estimates.”

Submitted by arol88

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