Wind Project Creating 200 Jobs in Grand Island - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Wind Project Creating 200 Jobs in Grand Island

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Grand Island gets jobs for tomorrow, with the announcement of $5 million to produce wind turbines in the community.

The announcement came from the White House that TPI Composites will receive a $5,135,241 tax credit to build a new manufacturing facility in Grand Island.

Reached by phone not in Grand Island, but on vacation in the Grand Cayman Islands, Mayor Margaret Hornady told NTV, "that's terrific news" and said it had been in the works for some time.

The plant will make wind turbine blades.  According to a press release from Sen. Ben Nelson, TPI will create more than 200 new jobs.

Senator Nelson said he has been a long-time supporter of TPI's efforts to bring a new clean technology manufacturing facility into the state of Nebraska.

Chamber of Commerce President Cindy Johnson said it's part of the community's strategy to look not only at industrial jobs like welding, needed today, but also at the workforce the city will need for tomorrow. She said the announcement was "great, it's challenging, it's wonderful."

The money for the project comes from the Recovery Act Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the federal stimulus.

"This is great news that will help two pioneering businesses grow in our state," said Senator Nelson.  "The stimulus bill is about creating jobs and today's announcement that over 200 new jobs are coming to Nebraska is welcome news in these tough economic times.  Together with the new biofuels facility, the wind turbine facility will bring good paying manufacturing jobs to the state and create a foundation for future growth in this expanding industry." 

In all, the White House announced 183 projects in 43 states to create clean energy jobs.

"Building a robust clean energy sector is how we will create the jobs of the future," said President Obama. "The Recovery Act awards I am announcing today will help close the clean energy gap that has grown between America and other nations while creating good jobs, reducing our carbon emissions and increasing our energy security."

According to the White House, the turbines produced by TPI will have a capacity equivalent to supplying 265 turbines rated at 2.5 MW for a total electrical output of 663 MW  TPI will also be expanding their existing manufacturing facility in Iowa to meet the anticipated increased demand for composite wind turbine blades.  TPI's composite materials made in both facilities are used to make lighter and stronger wind turbine blades and lighter and stronger (and more fuel efficient) vehicles.

The White House said projects selected for these tax credits must be placed in service by 2014, although approximately 30 percent of them will be completed in 2010.

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