Developer juwi Wind has terminated the four remaining staffers at its Cleveland-based wind development office, officially completing a move that began in 2010, Michael Rucker, CEO of juwi Wind North America, tells NAW.
Rucker says juwi Wind's operations will move to Boulder, Colo., where the company's North American headquarters and its solar division are located.
At its peak, juwi employed 14 people in its Cleveland office. According to Rucker, the company was the only wind developer based in Ohio.
He attributes the closure to the uncertainty surrounding the production tax credit (PTC).
‘We work on three- to five-year time horizons,’ Rucker explains. ‘And for 2013 and 2014, that development window is closed. No one wants to invest in projects when they can't fully understand the economics.’
juwi Wind is a subsidiary of Worrstadt, Germany-based juwi Group – named after company founders Fred Jung and Matthias Willenbacher – and focuses on all aspects of project development, from site identification to finance, construction and operations. To date, juwi has installed approximately 540 wind turbines worldwide at 106 sites, producing a total output of approximately 950 MW.
The Boulder office is also where juwi will execute its expansion into the Canadian wind market, specifically in Ontario and Nova Scotia, where the company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Eskasoni First Nation's corporate division to develop, construct, own and operate a 4.4 MW community wind project.
"The Canadian market is a natural fit for juwi,’ says Rucker.
And in light of the uncertainty surrounding the PTC in the U.S., the company's Canadian diversification strategy is "that much more important" he adds.
Although Rucker is hopeful that the PTC will be extended, he says the wind industry could lose serious momentum if Congress allows the federal incentive to expire on Dec. 31.
‘The wind industry has made tremendous strides in making wind energy competitive with other forms of generation,’ he says.
‘We're on the verge of gaining tremendous efficiencies,’ Rucker adds, citing advances in more efficient power curves.