Iowa continues to attract wind power manufacturing, this time with news that Hendricks Industries of the Hendricks Holding Group, which bought Danish tower manufacturer Roug earlier this year (Windpower Monthly, March 2007), will set up a wind turbine tower manufacturing plant in Keokuk, creating up to 400 jobs and more than $34 million in capital investment.
Roug had produced tubular towers for the wind industry since 1982. "Hendricks in Keokuk was a very emotional, a very moving, announcement. The mayor was literally in tears," says Brad Anderson in state Governor Chet Culver's office. "The unemployment rate is really high, right now one of the highest in Iowa, so to see this is really a huge boost." Culver has campaigned on both sides of the Atlantic to bring wind industry manufacturing to Iowa, with some success.
American Clipper Wind, the Danish wind division of Siemens and Spain's Acciona have all setting up manufacturing in centrally located Iowa. TPI composites, a tower manufacturer with major deals with Mitsubishi and GE Energy (Windpower Monthly, May 2007), appears poised to follow suit with a facility in Newton Iowa, says Anderson. That town was the home for Maytag before being bought by Whirlpool, both major appliance manufacturers for the US market. "It's actually officially closing its plant here at the end of October so obviously it's a community that was hit very hard by manufacturing losses and so it looks like TPI is going to have an announcement in the near future," says Anderson.