North Dakota hires Deyton Bell to lure European component makers

USA: The North Dakota Commerce Department has extended its contract with Deyton Bell, a British consulting company helping attract European wind component manufacturers to the Midwestern state.

North Dakota: looking to attract European wind component makers

"We have hired some boots on the ground in Europe," says Shane Goettle, the department's director. "They are helping us identify companies in Europe that are looking to gain an American foothold in this industry. We are working that pretty aggressively."

North Dakota is already home to a pair of manufacturing plants: one for local tower maker DMI Industries and blade maker LM Glasfiber of Denmark.

Goettle believes North Dakota has several significant advantages, including tax exemptions, a development fund run by the commerce department and aggressive workforce training programmes.

Matching grants are available for companies participating in research and development, while a state-owned bank, which does not originate loans, can buy down interest rates on qualifying projects.

"No other state has that tool," Goettle says. The state's wind power potential is ranked as best in the nation.

Its installed capacity stands at 767 MW, but that is set to rise by around 350 MW by the end of the year, with the planned completion of of four more projects--Ashtabula II (120 MW), Bison Wind (75.9 MW), Rugby (149.1 MW) and Minot Wind 2 (4.5 MW). Meantime, the 115.2 MW Prairie Winds I project is due online next year.

"Not only do we have the best wind resource, we are the geographic centre for North America," Goettle says. "We know that more wind development leads to more manufacturing somewhere, and we want to be that somewhere."