Nordex USA to locate North American wind energy hub in Chicago

The German wind turbine manufacturer sets up shop in Chicago, Ill., to give the company a presence in one of the fastest growing wind energy markets in the world.

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Nordex AG (Norderstedt, Germany) announced at the end of April plans to establish its North American headquarters in Chicago, Ill. The announcement follows a November 2008 announcement that the wind turbine company will build a manufacturing plant in Jonesboro, Ark. The company already has 18 key employees onsite in Chicago and intends to staff up to about 100 over the next several years.

Ralf Sigrist, Nordex USA president and CEO, notes that Nordex is one of the fastest-growing wind turbine producers in the world, having recorded a fourth consecutive year of more than 50 percent sales increases.  “Nordex sees the U.S. as one of the biggest growth markets for wind energy in the world,” said Sigrist, revealing that the Nordex strategy is to see 20 percent of its global revenue coming from the U.S. wind market. “That’s why, in addition to setting up operations in Chicago, we will also manufacture our turbines here.”

A specialist in large-scale, multimegawatt (MW) turbines, the company currently employs 2,200 people at 18 sites worldwide, and will invest approximately $100 million (USD) in the Arkansas factory, which is expected to add more than 700 people to its workforce by 2015. The Jonesboro plant will manufacture every component of a wind turbine except the tower, with a target annual assembly capacity of 750 MW.

Plant construction is slated to begin this year, with scheduled production startup slated for 2010.