Gov. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., has announced that Colorado-based New Millennium Wind Energy has chosen the Kansas Logistics Park in Newton, Kan., as the site of its first manufacturing facility.
The new facility will produce 20 kW to 60 kW wind turbines. It is projected to employ about 70 people in the first year of operations and more than 350 people in the next three to four years. The company expects to commit $20 million to $30 million in resources over a five-year plan. The plant is expected to be operational by July 2012.
‘Newton has a strong local workforce with the right skill sets, as well as good logistical support, including rail, barge and highway access,’ says Drew Thacker, founder and CEO of Millennium Wind Energy. ‘Those were key factors in our decision, as our product lines will ship worldwide. We wanted to be in the heartland of wind generation and believe that Kansas will lead the way in this field.’
The first phase of the project, expected to be complete by the end of this year, will involve assembly and final testing of production designs. The turbines are planned to be made from high-tech, carbon-based composites. Future phases will involve increasing assembly capacity, composite fabrications and possibly advanced technology for high-rate composite manufacturing with assistance from the National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University.