From a news release issued by Broadwind Energy and posted on Business Wire:
MANITOWOC, Wis.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–President Barack Obama underscored key themes from his State of the Union speech of job creation, innovation and global competitiveness when he visited Broadwind Energy, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: BWEN) wind turbine tower manufacturing facility today in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Broadwind Energy and its more than 800 employees are playing a critical role in powering up the clean energy industry, stimulating local economies like Manitowoc and driving innovation in the U.S.—innovation the President is calling for to maintain our global leadership position.
“President Obama is essentially asking the same of our country—bring together all of our best talents and solutions and help our country and other countries maximize their energy potential—sustainably, cleanly and profitably.”
Once a manufacturing plant for World War II-era submarines, the 250,000 square foot facility the President toured this afternoon was revitalized by Broadwind Towers (Tower Tech), stimulating the local economy through the hiring of 300 people. The company has become one of the largest employers in Manitowoc, is a leading producer of multi-megawatt (MW) wind turbine towers and is the first company in the U.S. to manufacture 100-meter towers. Currently the Manitowoc facility is running at near capacity and when combined with its tower manufacturing facilities in Abilene, Texas, and Brandon, South Dakota, Broadwind Towers has the potential to produce up to 1,500 MWs of wind turbine towers annually. Manitowoc is a great example of a U.S. community rebounding from economic hardship by applying existing talent to new problems, in this case tapping deep roots in steel fabrication to create the tall steel towers that enable wind turbines to capture maximum wind energy.
During the visit, President Obama was able to see how a wind turbine tower is manufactured – from raw plate steel through the process of forming, welding, painting and moving a completed tower section, which could weigh up to 200 tons. Broadwind Energy President and CEO Peter C. Duprey, Broadwind Towers President Paul Smith and plant manager Chris Wallander led the President through the facility where he stopped several times to talk with employees.