U.S Steelworkers and Chinese Manufacturers Unite!

In an interesting announcement late last week, the United Steelworkers (USW), the union that represents those working in the U.S. steel industry, announced that it had struck a deal with A-Power Energy Generation Systems and Shenyang Power Group (SPG), two Chinese power companies. The deal they struck refers to A-Power’s plans to supply wind turbines to the SPG-owned 600-MW Texas wind farm set to begin construction soon.

A-Power is a manufacturer of wind turbines and had previously announced its intentions to supply turbines to what may be the largest wind farm in the U.S. (once it is completed).  The wind farm was widely criticized when it was originally announced under allegations that U.S. stimulus money would be going to fund Chinese manufacturing and would therefore support Chinese job creation, prompting A-Power to announce that it would be setting up a factory in Nevada to supply wind turbine equipment for the Texas wind farm.

This deal with the USW further solidifies U.S. participation in the project.

According to the announcement, A-Power plans to purchase up to 50,000 tons of steel from American steel mills to support the creation of the wind turbine towers in its Nevada factory.  In addition, it stipulates that the USW will work with A-Power to on all aspects of the companies’ U.S. market strategies including manufacturing, assembly, component sourcing, distribution and wind energy project development.

U.S. Renewable Energy Group (US-REG), a U.S.-based private equity firm with stakes in the Texas wind farm helped facilitate the A-Power-USW deal. “It is an honor to team up with the Steelworkers for this historic partnership that will result in hundreds of American jobs and help create a clean energy future for the U.S.” said Cappy McGarr, US-REG Managing Partner. “We look forward to working closely with the USW on further projects to help expand wind power and renewable energy in the U.S.”


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Jennifer Runyon
Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. You can reach her at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com Today, in addition to managing content on Renewable Energy World and POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference and expo for the transmission and distribution industry. In her role, she works in close cooperation with a large team of committed industry executives to shape the educational content for the event. She also helps assemble the renewable energy content for POWERGEN and helped launch the first Grid-Scale Storage Summit, a co-located event at HYDROVISION International. She has traveled to Germany to see onshore and offshore wind installations; Iceland to see geothermal energy in action; and France to see cutting-edge smart grids. In the U.S. she has visited and reported about bioenergy power plants in Florida, both large-scale and small-scale hydropower; and multiple wind farms, solar PV, and CSP installations. Formerly, she was the managing editor of Innovate Forum, an online publication that focused on innovation in manufacturing. Prior to that she was the managing editor at Desktop Engineering magazine. In 2008, she won an "Eddy Award" for her editing work on an article about solar trees in Vienna. In 2010, RenewableEnergyWorld.com was awarded an American Business Media Neal Award for its eNewsletters, which were created under her direction. She holds a Master's Degree in English Education from Boston University and a BA in English from the University of Virginia.

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