Nordex starts production at wind turbine plant in Arkansas

Construction on a second facility for assembling rotor blades is also planned for the future.

Wind turbine manufacturer Nordex (Chicago, Ill., USA) announced on Oct. 4 that it has begun production at its newly built wind turbine manufacturing plant in Jonesboro, Ark., USA. The plant’s first production crew will go to assembling a wind turbine nacelle.

“Two years ago, we announced our intention to make Nordex wind turbines in the U.S., for the US,” said Ralf Sigrist, president and CEO of Nordex USA Inc. “Today we’re putting our hands to the metal and doing it. We hope Congress will do the same,” he added, “by finally passing meaningful renewable energy legislation.”

The first Jonesboro production crew, hired earlier this year, just completed a 10-week intensive training program at Nordex’ flagship plant in Rostock, Germany. Training will continue during the early phase of production, with the team’s German counterparts now taking up residence in Jonesboro for several months to work alongside their new colleagues.

“There’s no way to do this without international exchange,” said Joe Brenner, vice president of production for Nordex. “Wind energy has tremendous potential in the US, but it’s about more than just creating green jobs. We have to transfer expertise in order to build a wind industry workforce. Nordex is investing in such a workforce and bringing the needed skills to America.”

Nordex broke ground on its manufacturing plant last September, completing construction in July of this year. The company has hired 150 employees in the U.S. to date, including 42 in Jonesboro, and has plans to employ up to 1,000 nationally over four to five years. About 80 percent of the workforce in Jonesboro are locals. Construction on a second facility for assembling rotor blades is also planned for the future.