A wind energy supply chain is emerging in the Portland-Vancouver region as manufacturers and economic development agencies step up efforts to win a growing piece of the global wind energy market.
Most of the wind turbines in the U.S. are imported from foreign manufacturers, largely in China and Europe. Yet, regional wind energy boosters hope to make the Portland-Vancouver region a hub for the manufacture, installation, repair and maintenance of wind energy components.
The work to get there is under way.
For example, Renewable Energy Composite Solutions (RECS), a spinoff company of Vancouver-based Christensen Shipyards that makes components for the wind and wave energy industries, recently landed a multimillion-dollar contract with another company to build wind turbine blades.
Joe Foggia, managing director and partner for RECS, declined to reveal details of the contract. But he said the Portland-Vancouver region is well ahead of other areas in renewables, including wind energy. “There’s a lot of potential here,” he said.
Meanwhile, EnergyWorks, an Annapolis, Md.-based company that focuses on wind power, bio power and energy infrastructure management, opened an office in Vancouver in February. The office, which employs 150 full-time technicians, focuses primarily on the installation and maintenance of wind farms in the Pacific Northwest.