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New Wind Energy Manufacturing Facility to Bring 350 Jobs to Kansas

07/18/2011
Colorado-based New Millennium Wind Energy (NMWE) has chosen the Kansas Logistics Park in Newton, KS, as the site of its first manufacturing facility, expected to be open by July 2012. The plant will employ about 70 people in its first operational year, and over 350 in the next three to four years. NMWE expects to commit $20 million to $30 million in resources over a five-year plan to bring the project to life.

Founded in 2009, the company develops and manufactures the newly designed Next Generation Wind Turbine. Available in different sizes, the turbine is made to be installed directly on the rooftops of commercial buildings-- a first-of-its-kind design for this range of power production. The Newton facility will produce innovative 20- to 60-kilowatt systems, and join the state's emerging wind energy development cluster.

"Our point-of-use turbines will revolutionize renewable energy deployment," said Drew Thacker, company founder and CEO. "These systems can provide significant power to data centers, skyscrapers and big box retail stores but also to the most remote villages and locations to assure all people have energy for irrigation, clean water, sewage treatment, lighting and the ability to access remote learning opportunities at affordable cost."

The project's first phase (expected to be complete by year-end 2011) involves assembly and final testing of production designs. Future phases will involve increasing assembly capacity, composite fabrications, and possibly advanced technology for high-rate composite manufacturing with help from the National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University.

Thacker said Newton was a "logical choice" due to its "strong local workforce with the right skill sets" and good logistical support (e.g., rail, barge and highway access). Those were key factors the company's decision as its products will ship worldwide. "We wanted to be in the heartland of wind generation and believe that Kansas will lead the way in this field."

New Millennium Wind Energy will receive incentives through the Kansas Economic Opportunity Initiatives Fund (supports state/local efforts to encourage companies to locate or expand operations in Kansas). The company also may qualify for additional incentives through Promoting Employment Across Kansas, High Performance Incentive Program, and similar economic development programs.

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