Indiana is one of the fastest-growing U.S. states in wind power development. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the state’s installed wind capacity increased ten-fold in 2009 and 2010. With 2.4 percent of the state’s power provided by wind last year, Indiana currently ranks 12th in the country in wind power capacity, all of it installed within the last few years.
Now, the state will also add manufacturing to its wind power portfolio. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has announced that GBT USA, a designer and manufacturer of wind turbine blades, plans to open a facility in Evansville, Ind. The company, a subsidiary of the Netherlands-based Global Blade Technology, will lease and equip 45,000 square feet of space to house its engineering design and consultancy offices, as well as its wind turbine blade, mold and tooling production lines. In 2013, the company plans to build an additional facility in southern Indiana to manufacture composite rotor blades for wind turbine generators.
GBT USA chose Evansville due to its strategic location–near the massive wind farms of the Midwest, and accessible to the hotbeds of offshore wind development to the east and south–and the availability of several lucrative incentives. The company will receive tax credits and training grants from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, a federal Community Development Block Grant from the state’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs, a 10-year Evansville Urban Enterprise Zone Investment Deduction and a loan through the Evansville Revolving Loan Fund.
According to a study by the Indiana Business Research Center, green jobs currently account for only 1.7 percent of the state’s total employment. GBT USA is projecting an investment of $17.6 million for leasing, construction and equipment costs; and the creation of up to 400 new jobs in the area by 2014.