German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex plans to open its $40 million Jonesboro, Ark.-based nacelle facility on Oct. 4, according to Joe Brenner, vice president of production for Nordex USA. The company will officially dedicate the facility with a grand opening on Oct. 28 and Oct. 29.
Nordex announced plans to build the facility in 2009, and about 100 workers will be employed by the end of the year. The employees will work on the Nordex 2.5 MW turbine, known as the Gamma generation. A 15-member production team is currently in training, says Brenner. Nordex plans to have 45 to 65 employees dedicated to assembly by next year.
‘It's a pure assembly plant right now, and we will have a blade facility [operating here] within the next four or five years,’ says Brenner. ‘The materials are arriving, and we're configuring our production lines.’
The Jonesboro facility is Nordex's first North American facility. The company also has production facilities in Europe and China.
The facility includes 115,000 square feet of production space, 10,000 square feet of space allocated to training and 35,000 square feet of office space. Brenner says there is a state-of-the-art conveyor line for assembly line manufacturing, which includes a geothermal system for heating and cooling.
Nordex received funds from the state of Arkansas, as well as $22 million in funding as part of the $2.3 billion in Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits, which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Nordex has arranged for a team of up to 12 people who will travel from Germany to shadow their U.S. counterparts in hub assembly, machine housing, drivetrain assembly and commissioning, according to Brenner. The German contingent will be in Jonesboro until the end of the year.
‘This will be one of the most advanced wind turbine assembly plants in the world when completed,’ Brenner says.