in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item



While the competitiveness of wind power in the U.S. continues to improve, its gains are being achieved at a painful cost to some U.S. manufacturers' market share. That is the feedback from companies that are struggling due to plunging price points for turbine components and the growing trend toward imported alternatives.

Beginning in 2007, Kocsis Brothers, a full-service machine shop based in Alsip, Ill., was encouraged to add new capacity by its major wind turbine customers. The company responded with nearly $6 million in new equipment, including one machine capable of handling a turbine's largest parts with state-of-the-art computer-numerical control. However, the company's volume has fallen from a high of 16 hubs per week in 2008 to a total of two this year.

Abrasive Blasting and Coating Services, a South Carolina-based provider of coating services, recently opened a second Elkhart, Ind.-based plant to handle the expected growth in wind turbine business. But volume has fallen off this year and the firm says it is now manufacturing fewer original equipment pieces.

The downturn can be blamed on steep price erosion for wind turbines caused by global oversupply and on the impact of rock-bottom U.S. natural-gas prices for new power purchase agreements for developers. What follows is a need to compensate with lower costs on the component end.

This is especially frustrating for supply-chain managers for wind turbine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with domestic-content goals who have worked hard to develop a strong local supply chain and realize that their partners are under fire like never before.

To address these supply-chain issues, wind turbine OEMs, key supply-chain leaders and policy experts will meet July 13-14 in Cleveland to examine key issues that are slowing growth prospects.

The conference, sponsored by the Great Lakes Wind Network (GLWN), will feature town-hall-style forums on key issues threatening supply-chain growth, such as increasing global competitiveness, leveling the international playing field, lowering costs through new design and managing foreign specifications.

For more information, visit makingithere.org.

Ed Weston is executive director of Cleveland-based GLWN. He can be reached at (216) 920-1965 or eweston┬ęglwn.org.


Trachte Inc._id1770
Latest Top Stories

Setting The Record Straight: How Many Birds Do Wind Turbines Really Kill?

Several peer-reviewed studies are more or less in agreement with avian mortality rates caused by wind turbines. However, one study, which is wildly off from the others, is most often cited in the media. Why?


Six Takeaways From The IRS' Start Of Construction Guidance: What You Need To Know

The IRS recently issued guidance to wind developers to further spell out what "start of construction" means. Will you be covered?


Eagle Take Permits For Wind Farms - Will They Fly?

Now that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued the first permit allowing the legal take of eagles, can wind developers expect more certainty in the agency's application process?


Despite 2013 Challenges, U.S. Wind Power Reaches All-Time Low Price

In a new report, the U.S. Department of Energy details the highs and lows of the country's wind industry last year, and the agency maintains that the U.S. sector remains strong.


Mexico On Pace To Set New Renewables Investment Record

A new report says the country has spent $1.3 billion on clean energy in the first half of 2014 and could end up seeing a record year. Furthermore, wind power is slated for significant growth in the region.

Canwea_id1984
Renewable NRG_id1934
UnitedEquip_id1995
Tower Conference_id1965