PA Governor Rendell Inaugurates Gamesa’s Cambria County Manufacturing Facility
HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell today cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of Gamesa Corp.’s manufacturing facility for wind turbineturbine generator blades – its first in North America North America – at the South Park Industrial Complex in Cambria County. More than 230 people will work at the new plant.
The Spanish wind-energy company is investing $84 million to locate its U.S.headquarters and four manufacturing facilities in Pennsylvania. Aside from the Ebensburg plant, three new advanced technology plants are planned for Bucks County, where as many as 300 workers will produce windmill blades and towers and assemble nacelles, which house the wind turbines.
“Alternative energy development is helping to power Pennsylvania’s economy,” Governor Rendell said. “We are attracting private investments and creating manufacturing jobs that will keep our commonwealth growing, improve our environment and enhance our already strong national leadership in building a clean energy future.”
Wind energy is a key part of Governor Rendell’s strategy to build a diversified diversified (di·verˑ·s energy base that ensures greater security for Pennsylvania, creates jobs and improves the environment.
Pennsylvania remains a leader in wind production east of the Mississippi, with 153 megawatts that provide enough clean energy to power 70,000 homes. The growth potential is significant. There are more than 5,000 megawatts of untapped wind power in the state, with the potential to generate 45 billion kilowatt-hours annually, or enough to power more than 5 million homes.
Gamesa President Alfonso Basagoiti noted the relevance of this important industrial project in the United States United States, “which reinforces the long-term commitment of the company with the U.S. wind power market and which is strengthened by a solid base of a significant order book in the wind turbine sales.”
Gamesa, one of the main wind energy companies in the world headquartered in Victoria, Spain, is the only vertically integrated wind-energy company in the world, meaning it manufactures the parts for wind-energy units and then develops the wind farms itself.
Governor Rendell’s innovative policies and strategic investments in cutting-edge projects have positioned Pennsylvania at the forefront of alternative energy development.
Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, one of the most progressive in the nation, ensures that 18 percent of all retail energy generated by 2020 comes from clean, efficient and advanced resources, creating jobs and cleaning up the environment.
Over the next decade, Pennsylvania will replace 900 million gallons of transportation fuel with locally produced alternative resources such as ethanol and biodiesel, or with fuels derived from coal liquefaction liquefaction. The 900 million gallons represents the estimated amount of fuels that will be imported from the Persian Gulf to Pennsylvania 10 years from now. The Governor is investing $30 million over the next five years to build re-fueling and production infrastructure to support wide distribution of the alternative fuels.
Pennsylvania very well could be the nation’s leading producer of biodiesel within the year, going from virtually nil a year ago to a projected 40 million gallons of annual production. The state already is home to the East Coast’s first state-of-the-art biofuels injection facility. The plant will replace 3.2 million gallons of foreign oil with domestically produced biodiesel and keep at home $6 million worth of energy dollars by reducing the state’s need to purchase imported fuels.
The nation’s first coal gasification-liquefaction plant is being built in northeastern Pennsylvania . The facility will use waste coal to produce 40 million gallons of clean-burning diesel fuel each year. What the Governor is doing to support the project is unprecedented, creating a fuel consortium with private industry to purchase nearly all of the offtakeOff´take. Pennsylvania will lock in its supply for some 10 years at prices well below current market values and ensure a long-term, viable market for the plant.
Pennsylvanians now spend some $30 billion per year on imported energy fuels. Instead of spending overseas, Governor Rendell is investing at home and putting Pennsylvanians to work.
Brought back to life after years of inactivity inactivity the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority has awarded $15 million in grants and loans for 41 clean energy projects that will leverage $200 million in private investment. The projects will create 1,558 permanent and construction jobs.
The Pennsylvania Energy Harvest Grant Program has awarded $15.9 million and leveraged another $43.7 million in private funds since its inception in May 2003 for projects using sources such as wind, solar, biomass, waste coal and recycled energy.
“Advanced energy technology is about achieving both environmental protection and economic development – at the same time,” Governor Rendell said.
A testament to the effectiveness of the Governor’s economic development policies is the recent report from the Corporation for Enterprise Development showing that Pennsylvania jumped from 46th in 2004 in short-term job growth to 15th last year. The state economy has added more than 122,000 jobs since Governor Rendell took office in 2003.
Site Selection magazine ranks Pennsylvania among the top 10 states with the most new and expanded corporate facilities, outperforming the entire Northeast — the first time since at least 1999 that our commonwealth ranked first in the region. Pennsylvania went from seventh in 2004 to sixth last year in the number of manufacturing facility projects underway, according toaccording to the magazine.
Site Selection magazine also ranked Pennsylvania fourth nationally in the number of new manufacturing facilities in 2005. Since 2002, the number of new manufacturing projects in the state has nearly tripled to 76 projects in 2005.
This optimism about Pennsylvania’s economy is supported by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, whose 2005 economic survey revealed that about 80 percent of its members expect to increase their investments in Pennsylvania in the next 12 months.