Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Ian Bowles today visited wind measurement company Second Wind to celebrate the company's new manufacturing facility in Newton. Secretary Bowles also announced a partnership between Somerville-based Second Wind, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and Arlington-based WindPole Ventures to construct a wind measurement information network that will aggregate real-time, hub height standardized wind speed data, which will be used for future real-time forecasting and assure that Massachusetts' wind farms operate more efficiently.
'This strategic investment in the Commonwealth's wind information infrastructure will help make wind power generation more efficient and cost-effective, and help us further Governor Patrick's goals of installing 2,000 MW of wind energy by 2020,' said Secretary Bowles, who chairs the MassCEC board. 'Second Wind and WindPole are examples of emerging leaders in Massachusetts' wind energy cluster who are creating clean energy jobs and helping lead our clean energy future.'
Secretary Bowles announced that Second Wind, WindPole Ventures, and MassCEC will partner to deploy a regional network of technology to gather wind resource information, which will provide high quality data to help the state make the most of its wind resource. Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to deploy this type of regional network.
Second Wind, WindPole and MassCEC will construct a pilot wind measurement network in southeastern Massachusetts that will consist of seven to ten sites in which wind data will be collected on the ground with Second Wind's Triton Sonic Wind Profiler technology or via hub-height-tower based collection methods provided by WindPole. The wind data collection will serve a variety of wind project development needs, and will strengthen Massachusetts's position as a wind energy leader.
In announcing this unique partnership, Secretary Bowles joined Second Wind executives to announce the opening a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Newton, where Massachusetts-based workers will manufacture the Triton Sonic Wind Profiler, the global wind power industry's market-leading remote sensing system, and export it to more than 50 countries around the world, including China. In 2008, Second Wind received a $500,000 loan from the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust to help develop the Triton. Today, the company employs three times as many as it did in 2008, and expects that the new manufacturing facility will add 115 jobs by 2014.
WindPole Ventures provides 'data as a service' from its network of more than 12,000 hub height towers to top U.S. wind developers and a regional ISO with a high penetration of wind. In December 2008, WindPole raised its first round of capital with support from MassCEC.
'Second Wind has made Massachusetts its home for 30 years. All the ingredients are here for Massachusetts to lead the nation as a wind energy center of excellence,' said Larry Letteney, CEO of Second Wind. 'Despite the economic downturn, wind energy is experiencing global growth. We are especially gratified that our technology, which has been encouraged by our state government, can now play such a vital role in making this vision a reality.'
'In the 1980s, government support and private investment made the Commonwealth a powerhouse in the telecommunications and data sectors and later Internet and Web services. Under Governor Patrick's leadership, I believe the Commonwealth is taking the same steps that will lead to a concentration of jobs in the wind power sector,' said Steve Kropper, CEO of WindPole Ventures. 'Massachusetts is laying the groundwork for value added jobs in wind information services. WindPole believes that information on wind is more profitable than wind power and we are committed to providing hub height, bankable data that will accelerate the wind power sector nationally.'
Wind power in Massachusetts has increased tenfold under Governor Patrick, from 3.1 MW in 2007 to over 30 MW by the end of this year. In addition, the Patrick-Murray administration landed a $25 million federal stimulus grant to construct a Wind Technology Testing Center (WTTC) in Charlestown. Now under construction, the WTTC will test the next generation of wind turbine blades - further boosting Massachusetts's place as a leader in the industry. Wind energy companies that have already chosen to locate here include Siemens, FloDesign, American Superconductor, TPI Composites and Vestas Power Systems, and developers and installers such as First Wind and Solaya
About WindPole Ventures, LLC
WindPole provides real-time, hub height wind resource data from a portfolio of almost 12,000 very tall towers in 39 states. WindPole Ventures, LLC is based in Arlington, MA. www.windpole.
About Second Wind
Second Wind develops wind measurement systems that make wind power pay off for consumers, investors and the environment. The company's technology provides wind farm developers with the bankable wind data they need to plan, finance and operate highly efficient wind generation facilities. Second Wind's systems are making wind farm development profitable in 50 countries on seven continents. Second Wind's systems include Triton, the wind industry's leading remote sensing system, Nomad 2 wind data logger systems, the ProMast 60, a 60-meter meteorological mast and the SkyServe® web-based data service. For more information about Boston-based Second Wind, please visit www.secondwind.com.
Created by the Green Jobs Act of 2008, MassCEC's mission is to foster growth of the Massachusetts clean energy industry through funding to companies, universities, and nonprofit organizations; job training programs; and workforce development grants. MassCEC is also home to the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, which supports the installation of renewable energy technologies with funds provided by small renewable energy charges on electric bills. More information is available at www.MassCEC.com