Gamesa Praises U.S. Officials’ Action to Advance Offshore Wind Energy

Gamesa Technology Corp., a global wind power leader, today praised steps announced here by Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to speed responsible development of wind energy off the U.S. East Coast by streamlining and coordinating the federal approval process for projects and funding research into breakthrough technologies.

‘Secretary Chu and Secretary Salazar have taken significant and important actions that we believe will hasten development of the substantial wind energy potential on the U.S. East Coast,’ said Dirk Matthys, Chairman and CEO of Gamesa North America. ‘This is good news for businesses and families on the East Coast and elsewhere in the U.S. who stand to benefit from the development of this major source of sustainable energy. Gamesa is strongly committed to the U.S. market and looks forward to working with regulators and our business partners to build a vibrant offshore wind energy capability.’

Matthys’ comments came as Gamesa and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, the largest U.S. shipbuilder, neared the official opening on Thursday of the Gamesa Offshore Wind Technology Center in Chesapeake, Va. The two companies formed the center to develop the next generation of offshore wind turbines that will be deployed in the United States and around the world. The center builds on the alliance the two companies formed in October to cooperate on the design, development, site selection, permitting, installation and testing of Gamesa’s G11X -5.0 MW offshore prototype in the United States, using Gamesa’s multi-megawatt technology and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding’s broad experience in challenging marine environments.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is scheduled to officially open the Gamesa Offshore Wind Center in a ceremony at 11 am on Thursday at the Chesapeake, Va. Facility. The center will open with a team of 50 experienced engineers already in place.

The strategy outlined today by Chu and Salazar focuses on reducing the cost of offshore wind energy; overcoming technical challenges surrounding installation, operation and grid interconnection; and improving site data and the project permitting process. Under the plan, the Department of Energy will provide up to $50.5 million of funding over five years for projects to develop wind power technology and reduce barriers to its deployment. The Department of Interior identified four Wind Energy Areas off Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia that are targeted for coordinated environment studies, large-scale planning and expedited approval processes.

‘Gamesa’s priorities are well aligned with the strategy outlined by Secretary Chu and Secretary Salazar,’ Matthys added. ‘Our Chesapeake Offshore Wind Technology Center is just the latest example of our long-time leadership in developing advanced solutions for wind energy. We also agree that reducing the cost of wind energy is critical to driving the development of this important energy source. Gamesa, along with our partner Northrop Grumman, are committed to reducing the cost of wind energy by 30% over the next four years through the joint development of the advanced technologies developed in our G11X 5.0 MW offshore wind turbine.

With more than 15 years’ experience, Gamesa is a world leader in the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of wind turbines, with more than 20,000 MW installed in 30 countries on four continents. The company is a global benchmark in the market for the development, construction and sale of wind farms, with more than 4,000 MW installed and a wind farm portfolio totaling 22,000 MW at varying stages of development in Europe, America and Asia. Gamesa has an international workforce of more than 7,000 people, with 30 manufacturing facilities in Europe, the United States, China and India, and 4,400 MW of annual manufacturing capacity globally. Gamesa North America started U.S. operations in 2005, with two manufacturing plants in Pennsylvania, and currently employs about 1,000 people in North America.