Scottsdale, Ariz.-based TPI Composites, Inc., a global supplier of wind turbine blades, announced plans to open a wind blade innovation center in Fall River, Massachusetts that will support TPI’s manufacturing facilities around the world.
The Fall River plant will serve as a center for development of advanced blade manufacturing technology and a launching pad for new wind blade products. The facility will also offer limited production capacity for land based as well as offshore wind turbine blades.
The 69,000-square-foot Fall River development center will initially allow TPI to manufacture blades as long as 62 meters with even larger blades possible with further expansion. Prototype blades produced at this location will be delivered by barge to the new Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown, Massachusetts for testing and optimization
Steve Lockard, president and CEO of TPI, said: “The addition of this facility will position TPI well for the future as the demand for larger, higher-performance wind turbine blades continues to grow.”
To support this facility, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has awarded TPI a $250,000 grant, contingent upon creating and maintaining 30 wind jobs. The facility, located at the Tillotson Complex at 63 Water Street, is expected to open in early 2011 and will initially employ 30 to 50 associates.
The innovation center will operate as a sister facility to TPI’s Warren, Rhode Island plant located approximately 10 miles away and will serve as a base for offshore wind blade deployment. TPI also operates wind blade manufacturing facilities in Newton, Iowa, Taicang, China and Juarez, Mexico. The company employs approximately 2,500 worldwide.
TPI delivers composite components to manufacturers including G.E. Energy (NYSE: GE) and Mitsubishi Power Systems.
TPI competitor Blade Dynamics last week announced plans to open a new manufacturing facility in New Orleans, after AMSC (Nasdaq: AMSC) bought a 25% stake in the company.