Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Wind Energy Corporation to Locate New Manufacturing Facility in Morgantown
Funding also provided to expand company's headquarters operation in Elizabethtown
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher and Economic Development Cabinet Secretary John Hindman announced today that Wind Energy Corp., a high-tech start-up company founded in April 2007, will locate its manufacturing facility in Morgantown. The company will develop, manufacture and sell unique, next-generation wind turbines to the middle wind market segment.
The project is expected to create 260 full-time jobs within five years and represents an investment of more than $6.1 million in the south central Kentucky region. Additionally, Wind Energy will expand its headquarters operation in Elizabethtown by 35 full-time, highly technical or executive positions.
"Kentucky is proud to welcome a new and innovative company such as Wind Energy Corporation," said Governor Fletcher. "This two-fold project brings a wealth of opportunities to the region, including expanded research and development and a demand for highly technical job skills."
Wind Energy will acquire a 133,200 square-foot facility on 17 acres in Morgantown. The company expects to begin manufacturing by the end of the year. Unlike traditional, propeller-driven turbines that require a minimum of 8-12 mph wind speed and an average of one acre of clear land for each turbine, the Wind Energy product will be designed to operate in as little as 4 mph of wind velocity without motor assist. Additionally, Wind Energy turbines are not harmful to birds.
"We are working hard to bring an economically viable wind turbine to market, and Kentucky has been our greatest fan," said Gregory Thomson, the company's president and chief operating officer. "We have a dedicated team at Wind Energy and are all excited and grateful for the support from Kentucky and the city of Morgantown."
"I’m extremely humbled by the overwhelming response from the good people of Morgantown and Butler County as well as the whole state," added Wind Energy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Fugitte. "Wind Energy Corporation is blessed to have such supporters. This help makes it possible to get our product into the market faster, and everyone desperately needs alternative sources of electricity."
The product is intended to be a distributed "green" power source for multiple type users, helping to relieve the strain on the national electric grid and providing electric power to developing regions globally.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Wind Energy for tax benefits up to $3,405,000 under the Kentucky Rural Economic Development Act, which provides incentives to attract and expand manufacturing employment in the state.
KEDFA also approved $595,000 for Wind Energy’s corporate headquarters in Elizabethtown. The grant was awarded from a High-Tech Investment Pool, which is administered by the Cabinet’s Department of Commercialization and Innovation.
"We’re pleased to welcome Wind Energy Corporation to south central Kentucky," said Butler County Judge-Executive David Fields. "It’s a great addition to the community of industries that we have here. The level of technology that this corporation brings to the area is exciting, and we see this as a great opportunity to bring even more quality jobs to Butler County."
"The possibilities for growth are endless with Wind Energy Corporation's announcement that they will locate their manufacturing facility here," said Morgantown Mayor Eva Hawes. "We know that Morgantown and south central Kentucky will reap the benefits of having such a high-tech energy industry here, especially because of the highly skilled workforce that Wind Energy will demand."
"We are extremely thankful for the support from the Cabinet’s Department of Commercialization and Innovation and KEDFA for the incentive funding to help Wind Energy Corporation grow its workforce in Kentucky, including expanding its corporate headquarters staff in the Elizabethtown area," said Lisa Williams, director of the state’s Elizabethtown Innovation Center.
A community profile for Butler County can be found at: http://www.thinkkentucky.com/EDIS/cmnty/index.aspx?cw=070.
A community profile for Hardin County can be found at: http://www.thinkkentucky.com/EDIS/cmnty/index.aspx?cw=003.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2006 totaled more than $3.4 billion with the creation of over 18,500 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.