Economic power of wind harnessed with new ZF Gearbox plant in Georgia

State that will host WINDPOWER 2012 gets new manufacturing facility as calls for PTC extension grow louder

September 27, 2011

GAINESVILLE, Ga., Sept. 27 – Wind power's ability to generate not only electricity but jobs and economic activity was on full display today with the dedication of ZF Wind Power's new manufacturing facility in the Peach State.

The new plant, which represents a $98 million investment in construction and manufacturing equipment, is expected to employ 250 workers once the ramp-up to full production is completed. The facility is indicative of an impressive wind power industry trend: with some 8,000 components comprising a wind turbine, 60 percent of U.S.-deployed turbines' value is made domestically. That percentage is expected to keep increasing, as long as consistent policy is put in place to allow the industry to plan.

Dedication of the ZF facility, at which gearbox assembly is slated to begin in 2012, comes just as calls grow louder for extension of the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind power. The PTC is scheduled to expire at the end of next year; already, companies are experiencing challenges in planning and making business decisions as a result of this policy uncertainty, which is unique to wind power in comparison to other energy industries.

"Congratulations to ZF Wind Power for the superb facility they have built to serve our dynamic industry," said Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association. "The gearbox plant is a shining example of how wind energy is a real economic driver for America. The Power of Wind already can be seen across the entire nation, most notably today here in Georgia and the South, site of WINDPOWER 2012. We eagerly look forward to WINDPOWER 2012 in Atlanta, because, as the ZF plant dedication shows, Georgia couldn't be a better location for the industry's premier event."

The WINDPOWER 2012 Conference & Exhibition, the world's largest annual wind industry event, takes place in Atlanta, Ga., June 3-6, 2012. For more information, go to www.windpowerexpo.org.

AWEA is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. We represent 1,000 member companies and over 100,000 jobs in the U.S. economy, serving as a powerful voice for how wind works for America. Members include global leaders in wind power and energy development, turbine manufacturing, and component and service suppliers. They gather each year at the Western Hemisphere’s largest wind power trade show, the AWEA WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, next in Chicago, Illinois, May 7-10, 2018. Find information about wind energy on the AWEA website. Gain insight into industry issues on AWEA's blog, Into the Wind. And please join us on Facebook, and follow @AWEA on Twitter.