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LM Wind Power has inaugurated a Technology Centre Americas facility to develop and test new techniques for designing and building wind turbine blades at its facility on the NASA Michoud campus outside of New Orleans, Louisiana, US.
The new facility will provide LM Wind Power’s customers in North America with a local presence to help address their engineering needs, further enhancing the ability of the company to serve one of the largest wind power markets in the world.
As part of the expansion of the facility, the GE Renewable Energy business plans to hire up to 100 additional employees on top of the 50 currently employed at the facility, an increase of over 200% by 2021. The company will partner with local universities and community colleges to develop training programmes to ensure that there is a qualified pool of applicants to fill positions in various engineering disciplines and manufacturing skill sets.
The announcement was made at an event attended by Don Pierson, the Louisiana Secretary of Economic Development, and Duncan Berry, the CEO of LM Wind Power. The event featured remarks from Pierson, Berry, and a number of local officials as well as a tour of the new research facility.
“Innovation is at the heart of our company,” said Berry. “Our customers rely on us to push the research envelope to make blades lighter, stronger, and more affordable. This new Technology Centre gives us a local base from which to support our customers in the Americas as well as to partner with world-class researchers from the US Department of Energy and elsewhere in the US.”
The new facility is ideally situated to serve the fast-growing US wind power market. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) estimates that the pipeline of wind farms under construction or in advanced development now totals 33,449 MW, a 40% increase over 2017. AWEA reports that there is almost 90,000 MWs of wind capacity in the US provided by more than 54,000 wind turbines.
The Technology Centre Americas facility was originally part of Blade Dynamics, which was acquired by GE in 2015 and combined with LM Wind Power earlier this year after LM Wind Power was acquired by GE Renewable Energy in 2017.
Image provided by GE Renewable Energy
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