TPI Composites plans wind blade development centre in Massachusetts

The TPI Composites Fall River plant will be a centre for development of advanced blade manufacturing technology and a launching pad for new wind blade products.

The facility will also offer limited production capacity for onshore and offshore wind turbine blades.

The 69 000 ft2 Fall River facility will initially allow TPI Composites to manufacture blades as long as 62 m; larger blades will be possible with further expansion. Prototype blades produced at Fall River will be delivered by barge to the new Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown, Massachusetts, for testing and optimisation.

To support the new TPI facility, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has awarded TPI a $250 000 grant, contingent upon creating and maintaining 30 jobs. The facility is expected to open in early 2011 and will initially employ 30-50 people.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to expand our wind blade development and prototype capabilities through this new innovation centre,” says Steve Lockard, president and CEO of TPI Composites. “The efficient access to the water, proximity to an outstanding work force and support received from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the city made Fall River the ideal place for TPI’s expansion. The addition of this facility will position TPI well for the future as the demand for larger, higher-performance wind turbine blades continues to grow.”

"Bringing a major wind blade manufacturer to the state to carry out development, testing and training for the advanced manufacturing of wind blades will help build the wind blade cluster in Massachusetts, and provide a local customer for our Wind Technology Testing Center," notes MassCEC's Executive Director Patrick Cloney.

The Fall River innovation centre will operate as a sister facility to TPI’s Warren, Rhode Island, plant located approximately 10 miles away.

TPI Composites also operates wind blade manufacturing facilities in Newton, Iowa, USA, in Taicang, China and Juarez, Mexico. The Scottsdale, Arizona, headquartered company employs approximately 2500 people worldwide.