LM Wind Power Establishes Technology Center for the Americas in New Orleans
Photo from LM Wind Power
NEW ORLEANS — Gov. John Bel Edwards highlighted the announcement by LM Wind Power that the company will establish its Technology Center for the Americas at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. A GE Renewable Energy company, LM Wind Power will retain 45 jobs and create 100 new direct jobs, with an average yearly salary of $52,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 227 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 320 new jobs in Louisiana’s Southeast Region. The announcement was made in a press release.
Denmark-based LM Wind Power is the world’s leading supplier of blades to the wind energy industry. The company is inaugurating the Technology Center for the Americas at its current Michoud operations. At the center, the company will test new techniques for designing and building wind turbine blades. The center will provide LM Wind Power’s customers in North America with a nearby presence to address engineering needs, further enhancing the company’s ability to serve one of the largest wind power markets in the world. Details were shared in a press release.
“With energy and advanced manufacturing representing two of Louisiana’s key industries, the launch of LM Wind Power’s Technology Center for the Americas in New Orleans is a perfect fit for our state,” Gov. Edwards said. “GE and LM Wind Power have already seen the benefits of working on the Michoud Assembly Facility campus, and their commitment to create 100 new jobs reflects well on our state’s workforce and infrastructure. As wind energy supplies an increasing portion of our power needs, we can take pride in Louisiana’s contributions to this vital industry.”
LM Wind Power’s New Orleans operations are based at Building 420 on the Michoud Assembly Facility campus. The company’s facility features 60,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 20,000 square feet of office space. As the company establishes the Technology Center for the Americas, it will develop new techniques for designing and building wind turbine blades.
“We are pleased to expand our presence in Louisiana,” LM Wind Power CEO Duncan Berry said. “The facility is driving innovation in the design and manufacturing of wind turbine blades to ensure that LM Wind Power is able to design longer, lighter, more affordable blades – a key driver in the continued growth of the U.S. wind power industry. The state’s location and transportation infrastructure give LM Wind Power access to a large portion of the country. The NASA campus offers world-class logistical support, including port facilities that enable the company to move large equipment into and out of our expanded research facility. Finally, the strong network of local universities and community colleges provides ideal partners to develop training programs to ensure that there is a qualified pool of local applicants to meet our workforce needs.”
LM Wind Power’s New Orleans site is well-located to serve the rapidly growing wind power market in the U.S. Recently, the American Wind Energy Association estimated the pipeline of wind farms under construction, or in advanced development, represents nearly 33,500 megawatts, a 40 percent increase over that same measure in 2017. LM Wind Power’s New Orleans facility will help meet that demand.
“I am very excited about the expansion of operations of LM Wind Power at the Michoud Assembly Facility,” New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell said. “The company’s commitment to creating new jobs in renewable energy is a win for the residents of New Orleans and aligned with our goals for the future of this city.”
GE completed its purchase of LM Wind Power in 2017. LM Wind Power’s current operations and the new Technology Center for the Americas will be located in the New Orleans facility that formerly operated as Blade Dynamics, which GE acquired in 2015.
“Congratulations to LM Wind Power for being on the front lines of technology development,” said Roslin Hicks, deputy director of NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility. “At NASA, we recognize the importance of developing new technologies and advancing existing ones to benefit humankind.”
To secure the project in New Orleans, the State of Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package, which includes the services of LED FastStart® – the No. 1 state workforce development program in the nation. Additionally, LM Wind Power has qualified to participate in the state’s Quality Jobs Program.
"The expansion of LM Wind Power further underscores our region’s opportunity in the advanced manufacturing sector,” said president and CEO Michael Hecht of Greater New Orleans Inc. “The Michoud Assembly Facility has been a key anchor in attracting and expanding advanced manufacturing companies in the greater New Orleans region. GNO Inc. will continue to support the efforts at Michoud, ensuring that companies like LM Wind Power can continue to grow and provide well-paying jobs in our market.”