Offshore, Project Development, Utility Scale, Wind Power

Mass Tank Latest in Massachusetts Manufacturing Announcements

The emergence of a wind power Massachusetts manufacturing cluster continued with the announcement this week by Governor Deval Patrick (D) that Mass Tank Sales Corp. will manufacture foundations and other metalwork components for the Cape Wind renewable energy project in Nantucket Sound.

In partnership with the EEW Group of Germany, Mass Tank will establish the first facility in the country for the manufacture of the offshore components. The new line of production for Mass Tank, a longtime manufacturer of steel storage tanks, will result in the creation of more than 100 jobs, and that number could grow to more than 350 jobs, should Massachusetts become a major supplier to offshore wind installations up and down the Atlantic Coast, according to the governor’s office.

That could happen, it appears. Siemens, Inc., a leading European wind turbine manufacturer and a top producer of offshore units, is under contract to provide wind turbines for Cape Wind, and has established its U.S. offshore wind headquarters in Boston as a result of the Cape Wind project. In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy has invested $24 million in federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment act in a Wind Technology Testing Center in Boston, a facility that will assess the large-scale wind turbine blades suitable for offshore wind installation.

And finally, in August, TPI Composites, Inc., announced plans to open a wind blade innovation center in Fall River, Mass. The 69,000-square-foot plant will serve as a center for development of advanced blade manufacturing technology and a launching pad for new wind blade products. It will initially allow TPI to manufacture blades as long as 62 meters with even larger blades possible with further expansion. The prototype blades produced at TPI’s facility will be delivered by barge to the new Wind Technology Testing Center for testing and optimization.

This article first appeared in Wind Energy Weekly, and was republished with permission from the American Wind Energy Association.