Broadwind wins wind contracts, more towers to be made in Manitowoc
Oct 19, 2012 — As wind tower manufacturers around the country shut their doors, a Manitowoc supplier of the large steel structures is winning new business.
Broadwind Energy Inc. said Wednesday it won a $37 million contract to supply wind towers that will keep production active at its Manitowoc tower plant “well into 2013.”
The orders came from two U.S. wind turbine manufacturers, with production expected to start late this year, Broadwind said. Broadwind is based in Naperville, Ill.
After the announcement, Broadwind shares rose 27%, to close at $2.75.
The potential expiration of wind energy tax credits has resulted in some tower manufacturers shutting down or shifting out of the wind energy sector.
Wind developers have been rushing to complete projects before the end of the year to qualify for the tax credit. The wind energy lobby is hoping for postelection action by Congress to extend the credits and phase them out gradually.
But Broadwind, which specializes in complex turbine designs, continued to invest in the market and added new customers, Peter Duprey, president and chief executive, said in a statement.
“As a result of these efforts, we are now the second-largest tower manufacturer in the U.S., and we are winning new business for 2013 despite the regulatory uncertainty in Washington,” he said.
The wind tower market was also affected by imports of low-priced towers from China and Vietnam, which prompted the U.S. government to impose tariffs after tower manufacturers filed an unfair trade practices complaint.
That case is one of two renewable energy trade disputes involving the United States and China.
Last week, the U.S. imposed tariffs on Chinese solar panels, a move that domestic manufacturers say included a loophole that will allow Chinese firms to bypass the tariffs.