MFG will build facility to support wind energy demands

Molded Fiber Glass Cos. (MFG) broke ground on a new wind turbine manufacturing plant in Aberdeen, S.D.

Molded Fiber Glass Cos. (MFG, Ashtabula, Ohio) held a groundbreaking ceremony on Nov. 19 for a new wind turbine manufacturing plant in Aberdeen, S.D., that will make blades for GE Energy’s (Atlanta, Ga.) 1.5-MW machine, one of the most widely used wind turbines in the world.

The new facility will be owned by the Aberdeen Development Corp. (ADC) and leased and operated by MFG, representing a $40 million investment and the creation of up to 750 new jobs. The facility also will enable MFG to increase the volume of wind turbine blade sets being supplied to GE Energy, starting in 2008.

"GE currently has over 6,500 1.5-MW wind turbines in operation worldwide. By the end of 2008, we expect that number to exceed 10,000 units,"said Victor Abate, VP-Renewables for GE Energy. "The new MFG facility in Aberdeen will significantly increase the manufacturing capacity of our supply chain, as we continue to face strong demand for wind turbines in the U.S. and worldwide.”

"Today's groundbreaking represents a new milestone in the commercial relationship between MFG and GE Energy,"said Richard Morrison, CEO of MFG. "We are pleased to continue supporting GE's efforts in the wind energy industry, which is experiencing unprecedented growth around the world. We are also grateful to the team in the Governor's Office of Economic Development and their hard work to make this happen in South Dakota.”

In recent weeks GE Energy has announced agreements totaling nearly $1.5 billion to supply wind turbines for projects in the U.S. and Europe that represent more than a gigawatt of new wind power capacity. With a 500 percent increase in wind turbine production since 2004, GE expects its wind business revenues to exceed $4 billion this year. Over the past two years, GE has supplied wind turbines representing more than 50 percent of the new wind capacity across the U.S.