Mainstream and Goldwind to spend ?180m on US wind energy plant

Goldwind USA, the US arm of the world’s 5th largest wind turbines manufacturer, was informed by the Illinois Power Agency recently that it had been selected to provide energy from the 106.5 MW Shady Oaks wind power project in Lee County, Illinois.

As part of the successful bid, Goldwind will now acquire the wind power project from Mainstream Renewable Power, the well-known global wind farm developer with whom they partnered to participate in the IPA’s competitive process.

The wind power project will be governed by a 20 year renewable energy offtake agreement from ComEd through the Illinois Power Agency’s long term procurement plan and will be Goldwind’s second turbine project in the United States, following its installation of wind turbines in Pipestone, Minnesota in January 2010. Mainstream will continue to play a central role in the project through the development and construction stages to assist Goldwind in delivering the project through to commercial operation.

“We are elated to have been selected to build this project and to bring critical jobs and opportunity to the local wind industry in Illinois,” said Tim Rosenzweig, Chief Executive Officer of Goldwind USA. “Since opening our offices in Chicago in May of this year, we have made tremendous progress in our short time here and this news serves as an exciting step forward for our young company. We are thrilled to partner with Mainstream on this project and are eager to continue our growth with them and other partners who share our goal to grow the global wind industry.”

Commenting on the announcement, Mainstream’s CEO, Eddie O’Connor said: “Mainstream is all about great partnerships founded on shared values and aligned objectives. Our success today comes down to the strength of our relationship with Goldwind and our joint mission to provide low-cost, reliable renewable energy to the US. This is a great day for Mainstream and Goldwind. “

The Shady Oaks project will feature 71 of Goldwind’s 1.5 MW Permanent Magnet Direct Drive (PMDD) turbines. Much of Goldwind’s success internationally can be attributed to its decision to embrace PMDD technology well before its competitors. According to multiple studies, PMDD turbines have shown to be more reliable, efficient and cost effective than geared turbines.

As part of its international expansion, Goldwind has placed a key focus on the utilization of local content and sourcing. While figures aren’t yet finalized, Goldwind estimates that the wind farm will create over 100 US construction and permanent jobs. Goldwind’s commitment to the local wind energy industry was further demonstrated through its recent $26M US deal with the Timken Company, an Ohio-based bearings manufacturer. As a result of that deal, the Timken Company will provide bearings for Goldwind’s 1.5 MW and 2.5 MW wind turbines.