Global power company Alstom (ALO.PA) has begun construction on a new 115,000 square foot wind turbines nacelle assembly facility in Amarillo, Texas.
The facility is scheduled to begin operation in 2011 and will create 275 wind jobs at full capacity.
Workers at the Amarillo facility will assemble the nacelles--the
generator, gearbox, and control systems that make up a wind
turbine. The nacelles will be transported to sites where they will be
combined with blades and a tower to create the complete wind turbine
generator. Alstom said it will offer North American customers a product
that includes any combination of the complete unit and the engineering,
design, construction, and maintenance of the facility.
Alstom builds 1.67-megawatts (MW) turbines and 3-MW turbines.
Alfonso Faubel, Alstom Wind Vice President, said Amarillo is the ideal location for a manufacturing hub because it is centrally located in an area that is expected to create a substantial number of new wind power projects over the next several years. In addition, Amarillo has invested in the infrastructure needed to transport the sizeable equipment to sites across North America.
Alstom also entered into a long-term collaborative research and development (R&D) agreement with the newly created National Institute for Renewable Energy (NIRE).
The collaborative efforts will initially focus on grid integration research R&D. The program is scheduled to begin this fall.
Alstom joined the consortium as a founding member with Texas Tech University.
Last month Alstom contributed $55 million in funding to solar thermal company BrightSource, marking Alstom's first foray into solar power generation.