AWEA says Nordex closing shows need for ‘predictable’ wind policy

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) says the recent announcement that Nordex USA, will cease manufacturing wind turbine housings at its factory in Jonesboro, Ark., shows the need for more predictable wind policy.

The German parent, Nordex SE, said June 28 that it would stop making nacelles in Arkansas after the facility completes the orders in its current pipeline.

“This was an extremely difficult decision for Nordex,” said Nordex SE CEO Jürgen Zeschky.

“We are reacting to the weakened demand from the US market, brought on by the unpredictable extensions of the Production Tax Credit (PTC), and the resulting low utilization rate of our US assembly plant,” Zeschky said.

The company will continue to serve the U.S. turbine market through a single plant in Rostock, Germany. Nordex USA will continue to have a significant sales, engineering and project management presence at its Chicago offices, the company said.

AWEA and much of the wind industry have criticized the piecemeal renewals of the PTC. Early this year the PTC was renewed again to allow for the credit to apply to projects that begin construction in 2013.

“Wind power has been good for Arkansas consumers and businesses, and wind power could do a lot more for the state if we had predictable national policies to create a stable business environment,” said AWEA Senior Vice President for Public Policy Rob Gramlich in a June 28 statement.

“That starts by keeping the federal Production Tax Credit in place to allow wind energy to scale up as rapidly as it can. Nordex said uncertainty is one of the main reasons for their business decision to cease building wind turbine nacelles in Jonesboro,” the AWEA official said.

Congress has failed to provide stable tax policy for the capital-intensive industry, said Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe. Lawmakers have been wavering year-to-year on the wind energy tax credit. This indecisiveness is costing Arkansas, and America, jobs,” Beebe said.

 

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.