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Butler wind turbine plant closes; Company officials say more research needed on product

Wind Energy Corporation, a wind turbine manufacturer based in Elizabethtown, closed its Morgantown manufacturing facility last week, resulting in about 17 lost jobs and several disappointed community members. ...The company located its manufacturing plant in Morgantown in July 2007, promising about 260 new jobs in five years. According to reports, the state lured Wind Energy to Morgantown by offering the company $3.4 million in tax incentives.

Wind Energy Corporation, a wind turbine manufacturer based in Elizabethtown, closed its Morgantown manufacturing facility last week, resulting in about 17 lost jobs and several disappointed community members.

"They were just getting started. We had great hopes for them to expand and how big of an outfit it would be," said Butler County Judge-Executive David Fields.

The Morgantown facility was the corporation's only manufacturing plant. The company closed the plant to focus on further developing its product - a turbine that produces electricity through wind power. Greg Thomson, president and chief operating officer, said company officials want to make the turbine operate more efficiently before they produce more units.

"Of course people were very disappointed as we were to have to terminate operations, and I think the city was very disappointed as well," he said. "But the product and market are going strong."

Wind-powered energy is an increasingly popular idea, but the concept is difficult to get off the ground. Wind Energy currently operates one turbine unit in Texas. That machine generates electricity for grocery distributor H-E-B. Thomson said engineers and designers need time and money... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Wind Energy Corporation, a wind turbine manufacturer based in Elizabethtown, closed its Morgantown manufacturing facility last week, resulting in about 17 lost jobs and several disappointed community members.

"They were just getting started. We had great hopes for them to expand and how big of an outfit it would be," said Butler County Judge-Executive David Fields.

The Morgantown facility was the corporation's only manufacturing plant. The company closed the plant to focus on further developing its product - a turbine that produces electricity through wind power. Greg Thomson, president and chief operating officer, said company officials want to make the turbine operate more efficiently before they produce more units.

"Of course people were very disappointed as we were to have to terminate operations, and I think the city was very disappointed as well," he said. "But the product and market are going strong."

Wind-powered energy is an increasingly popular idea, but the concept is difficult to get off the ground. Wind Energy currently operates one turbine unit in Texas. That machine generates electricity for grocery distributor H-E-B. Thomson said engineers and designers need time and money to develop more high-quality systems. The company is currently talking with investors to help finance research and production.

"We had a lot of hype on the future of this company. Alternative energy is a big thing right now, and we were going to be on the cutting edge of it," Fields said.

Thomson said he hopes production lines will be running again in the next six months, and he would like to reopen the Morgantown plant. But, until the company is ready to produce units again, that building remains vacant.

The company located its manufacturing plant in Morgantown in July 2007, promising about 260 new jobs in five years. According to reports, the state lured Wind Energy to Morgantown by offering the company $3.4 million in tax incentives. The tax breaks came with a stipulation that Wind Energy must create about 30 jobs in its first year of operation.

"We did not do that," Thomson said.

Now, Morgantown officials have an empty 133,000-square-foot building. And, while Fields said he wants Wind Energy to return to the area, he cannot promise the building will be available.

"If a company came today and needed that building, I don't think they could turn it down, or it would make it very hard to turn it down," he said.


Source: http://www.bgdailynews.com/...

OCT 21 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/17578-butler-wind-turbine-plant-closes-company-officials-say-more-research-needed-on-product
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