Wisconsin manufacturers catch wave of wind technology


The future of energy use and production can be right here in Wisconsin, but wind technology experts in Wisconsin think the state is far behind to catch up to other states like Iowa and Texas. But are hopeful that Wisconsin manufacturers will see a boost in jobs created here because of massive production in Iowa.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports:

Billions of dollars in wind farm projects are underway in Iowa, but Wisconsin is lagging behind in wind energy.

Yet, jobs from massive energy projects in other states will filter into Wisconsin, according to Justin Barrett, wind energy technology instructor at Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, Wisconsin.

It will take about six months to see more jobs here tied directly to projects in Iowa, as Wisconsin parts factories get a surge of orders, Barrett said.

“There’s going to be a lot of manufacturers and installers trying to get parts and things really fast, and I think that’s probably going to be one of the bigger challenges, is for people just to keep up with the supply chain,” he said.

Madison-based Alliant Energy announced last week that it will create more than 1,500 jobs at the height of constructing $1 billion in Iowa wind farms over five years. The announcement comes on the heels of Des Moines, Iowa-based MidAmerican Energy’s plan to build a 2,000 megawatt wind farm in Iowa costing $3.6 billion.

But subcontracting firm Bassett Mechanical isn’t so optimistic that orders in Wisconsin will ramp up from Iowa and Texas projects. Only a couple Wisconsin factories are really seeing a big boost in production, according to Michael Lutz, vice president of sales and marketing for Kaukauna, Wisconsin-based Bassett Mechanical.

“When the current administration pulled back on some of the subsidies that were being provided for those energy projects, we did see a dip,” Lutz said. “Until something changes there, I don’t really know if we’ll continue to see a rise in our ability to hire more employees because the workload has increased.”

For more, visit, Wisconsin Public Radio.


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