American export: Blades from North Dakota headed to Brazil
A vibrant domestic wind power industry not only creates a market for components to be used at wind projects around the country, it allows for made-in-the-USA products to be exported.
That reality was on full display recently, when 37-meter wind turbine rotor blades manufactured at LM Wind Power's plant in Grand Forks, N.D., began arriving at the port of Duluth, Minn., on tractor-trailers and were staged at the port's breakbulk terminal awaiting final delivery to Brazil. The blades will be used at IMPSA Wind's new CEARA 2 project in the state of Ceara in the northeastern part of the country, along the Atlantic coast. Departure was scheduled for last Friday.
North Dakota is a big exporting state, but its outgoing products tend to be of the edible kind. "North Dakota is fortunate to have an international seaport close to our state," said Andy Peterson, president & CEO of the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce. "Nearly 85 percent of North Dakota's goods are exported around the world. In an era when we can help feed a hungry world with our agricultural commodities and fill the demand for manufactured products like turbine blades, we appreciate the access to global markets afforded by the Port of Duluth."
With IMPSA, an international renewable energy company, having made a major commitment to the Brazilian market, there is a possibility the company could tap LM Wind power and the port of Duluth for more business. When complete, the CEARA 2 project will include 141 1.5-MW turbines. Phase 3 is already being planned.
Video footage of the blades being loaded onto ships prior to their voyage is available online.