Sites selected for program to measure wind energy potential in Arkansas

The announcement was made today by the Arkansas Energy Office of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) and the Department of Renewable Energy at John Brown University.

Three of the four sites currently have wind measurement towers installed. The towers are installed on property owned by Terry Dunham of Booneville (Logan County); Thomas and Martha Bush, Romance (White County); and Carey and Bill Robertson, Bradford (White County). The fourth installation will take place on January 28 on the property of Jack Turner in Mansfield (Sebastian/Scott County).

Funding of approximately $50,000 for the Arkansas Anemometer Loan Program was provided from both the State of Arkansas and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America Program.

The participants borrow wind measurement instrumentation installed by faculty, staff and students at John Brown University to conduct a one-year measurement study on their property. Initially, the program is supplying four 34-meter meteorological towers with the equipment necessary to measure and record wind speed and direction. The data is collected and relayed remotely using cellular data plans.

“This program is one of the many exciting opportunities available as we continue to develop Arkansas’s wind energy resources,” said Chris Benson, director of the Arkansas Energy Office. “The data can help Arkansas’s farmers, ranchers, businesses, and homeowners determine if there is enough wind energy at their site to invest in a wind turbine.”

Each anemometer collects wind-speed data in 10-minute intervals. After the 12-month measurement period is completed and the data collected, the equipment will be relocated to other selected participants.

“Commercial enterprises here in Jackson County have jumped out on the leading edge of using wind technology, and we are excited about having hard data that will support further development and adaption of this new technology,” Robertson said. “It seems to be a win-win situation for our community to know what resources we have and have technical support for developing these resources right here at home.”

Mitsubishi announces intention to locate wind turbines manufacturing plant in Arkansas

Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Inc., (MPSA), a United States (Delaware) corporation, announced its intention to build a wind turbine manufacturing facility in Fort Smith, Arkansas. MPSA plans to invest approximately $100 million in the project, which could employ as many as 400 people.

“We are very excited to announce today the future MPSA Wind Turbine manufacturing site in Fort Smith, Arkansas,” said Koji Hasegawa, President and CEO of MPSA, based in Lake Mary Florida. “After an intensive site selection process conducted during the last fifteen months, we concluded that Fort Smith, Arkansas offers the most attractive site and community support for building and operating our wind turbine plant. We are very thankful for the excellent support provided to us by Governor Mike Beebe, Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, Congressman John Boozman, Maria Haley and her Economic Development staff and the entire Arkansas delegation. Additionally, we are also very impressed with Arkansas’s commitment to the renewable energy industry. With the establishment of this Wind Turbine manufacturing plant, we are also planning to expand our component sourcing in the U.S. so as to shorten our supply chain”

MPSA intends to locate its wind turbine manufacturing plant in a new 200,000 sq. ft. facility at Fort Chaffee, near Fort Smith, occupying 90 acres.

“The arrival of Mitsubishi in Arkansas is exciting news for our economy and for our renewable-energy manufacturing sector,” Governor Mike Beebe said. “Mitsubishi is a brand recognized and respected worldwide, and the substantial investment they will make in Fort Smith is evidence of Arkansas’s momentum in the global economy.”

MPSA’s search for its manufacturing location started mid 2008. Over the past few weeks, it began narrowing the search and focusing on Arkansas.

“The announcement is great news for the Fort Smith and the entire state of Arkansas,” said U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln. “It is evidence of the hard work exhibited by the Fort Smith community and the great spirit of cooperation between Governor Beebe, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, and the Arkansas Congressional delegation.

Mitsubishi’s investment in Arkansas is a testament to our state’s greatest asset, our people. I’m also proud that the community of Fort Smith as well as our state, under the strong leadership of the Governor, were able to put to good use the economic tools necessary to attract this newest corporate citizen to our state. This plant will provide an economic boost to our state and help Arkansas continue to be a leader in the manufacture of wind power as we look to transition from an old energy economy to a new energy economy.”

The company plans on beginning construction by early 2011. “Arkansas and Mitsubishi are a winning combination for renewable energy and economic development,” U.S. Senator Mark Pryor said. “I know that Mitsubishi will benefit from the area’s strong community support, work ethic and ingenuity. This partnership will bring America one step closer to realizing the full potential of wind energy.”

MPSA currently has more than 4,500 wind turbines in operation worldwide, and over 3,000 wind turbines in the US

“Fort Chaffee has a tremendous amount of potential and I am pleased that Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Inc. has recognized what Fort Smith and the region has to offer,” said U.S. Representative John Boozman. “We are fortunate to have had cooperation at all levels of government and within the community to make Fort Smith standout and MPSA select it for this investment. We welcome MPSA to the Third District and I look forward to working with the company in the future.”

Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Inc. (MPSA) was established in 2001 and is headquartered in Lake Mary, Florida with key operations in Orlando, FL, Newport Beach, CA, Houston, TX, and Juarez, Mexico. MPSA provides a wide variety of products and services for the electric power generation industry including gas, steam, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric turbines, boilers, selective catalytic reduction systems and solar energy.

The company is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), a diversified Fortune “Global 150” company with more than $30 billion in annual revenues and 40,000 employees worldwide. MHI is an international leader in the design and supply of energy, aerospace, machinery, transportation, and environmental systems and equipment.

LM Glasfiber doubles North American capacity with the grand opening of its new regional headquarters and blade production facility 

LM Glasfiber has inaugurated its new North American headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas. Over the next five years, LM Glasfiber plans to employ more than 1,000 people in its Little Rock operations.

North America is and will remain the most important market for wind energy in the years to come, and LM Glasfiber is showing strong faith in the market by inaugurating the company’s fourth facility and new regional headquarters in North America.

With the facilities in Little Rock LM Glasfiber will roughly be doubling its North American capacity, once the ramp-up is completed. The Little Rock operations have already created more than 630 jobs locally, and this is expected to increase to a total of 1,000 jobs. The production halls of the newest facility have the capacity to handle even the largest blades made by LM, which measure 61.5 meters.

“The grand opening of our fourth facility in North America takes place at a time when there is a bipartisan agreement that wind is a cost-efficient, reliable and clean source of energy. Expectations are that the global capacity of installed wind power will double in less than ten years. America needs to utilize the energy which is at its fingertips to become less dependent on foreign oil. The wind power industry offers an opportunity to diversify the energy portfolio by capitalizing on this free, clean and infinite resource while showing respect for the environment,” says LM Glasfiber CEO Roland Sundén in connection with the Little Rock facility grand opening.

The Little Rock blade production facility is the 13th LM Glasfiber factory and the fourth on the North American continent where factories already were established in Grand Forks, North Dakota in 1999 and Gaspé, Québec in 2006.

“The decision to locate this facility and its North American headquarters in Arkansas is a testament to both LM Glasfiber’s dedication to U.S. markets and Arkansas’s growing stature in alternative-energy industries,” Governor Mike Beebe said. “We celebrate the result of this successful partnership.”

LM Glasfiber is the world’s leading supplier of rotor blades for wind turbines. The Group has more than 7,000 employees in nine countries, and our highly specialized R&D organization provides us with the most comprehensive industry know-how on the development and production of rotor blades.

Boasting manufacturing facilities in Denmark, Poland, Spain, the USA, Canada, India and China, LM Glasfiber is located in or close to the key geographic markets for wind energy. Additional information is available at: