Acciona and Iowa: An Example of a “Technological Dialogue”

Many weeks ago, we reported (link here) that Acciona Energy North America, the American subsidiary of Pamplona-based Acciona Energia, had narrowed down its choice of location for its proposed wind turbine plant in the United States to two states: Illinois and Iowa.

Today, Acciona announced that it has chosen West Branch, Iowa as the site of its new wind turbine assembly plant. This will be the Spanish company’s first such assembly plant in the United States and its fourth plant worldwide, with two in Spain and a third in China.

According to the West Branch Times, West Branch has been waiting on “pins and needles” for news ever since Acciona announced that it was considering West Branch for its plant site in February. Iowa Governor Chet Culver and the West Branch are no doubt ecstatic over Acciona’s decision.

“We are thrilled that ACCIONA has chosen the state of Iowa for its first production facility in the U.S.,” said Iowa Governor Chet Culver. “We welcome them to West Branch and look forward to the economic opportunities this strategic partnership will create for our citizens. Thank to announcements like this and programs like the soon-to-be-created Iowa Power Fund, we are taking the lead in the race to become the renewable energy capital of the world and building a brighter future for our state.”

Not only is West Branch happy over the decision, but Acciona too expressed its satisfaction with the Iowa location decision. In a press release, Pete Duprey, CEO of Acciona Energy North America said, “West Branch is ideally situated, being central to wind power resources in North America, We greatly appreciate the support that the State and the city of West Branch have provided us for our investment, and we look forward to working with their highly skilled workforce as we expand our operations to provide wind energy benefits to communities worldwide.”

Acciona will invest 17 million euros and will produce 250 turbines in 2008, although this figure is expected to rise in the following years. The assembly plant will produce 1.5 MW turbines and 3MW turbines, these latter turbines are in advance stages of development, according to Acciona.

The new plant, which will cover an over of 100,000 square feet, will create 100 new jobs for the West Branch community. Moreover, Acciona is already constructing a U.S. network by which to supply the plant with equipment.

While this is great news for members of the West Branch community, it is important to realize just how positive this is for both the United States and Spain. This is exactly the type of “technological dialogue” that we here at Technology4Life seek to highlight; a dialogue that enables nations and private companies to cooperate and proceed with innovations that either through job creation or through cleaner energy production aim to achieve one thing: to make life a little better for everyone.

Sources: Acciona Energia & West Branch TimesOnline

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