Tower of wind power: Mich. company opens new turbine manufacturing facility

Based in Monroe, Mich., Ventower Industries is a manufacturer and supplier of utility-scale wind turbine towers.

Ventower began production of its towers in late 2011 after cutting the ribbon on its state-of-the-art, 115,000-square-foot facility. The company is planning to initially produce 200-250 towers per year and is capable of building towers more than 300 feet tall.

The company’s location on the shores of Lake Erie gives it access to local and international export markets via waterway, rail, and truck transportation. What’s more, the company’s location on a brownfield redevelopment site is injecting new economic value into a place that was formerly a blight to the community.

Ventower recently completed a contract with Aeronautica Windpower supplying towers 65 meters tall for mid-scale wind turbine projects at several different Ohio schools. It has also supplied 85-meter towers to other projects in Ohio, and Rhode Island as well.

Ventower is giving the western Lake Erie region a strong economic boost. In addition to the 55 full-time workers it currently employs, Ventower plans to hire approximately 100 more, trained through programs with local junior colleges, as it approaches full production capacity.

The company’s steel is sourced from domestic suppliers, helping to support U.S. industries. As James Viciana, board chairman of Ventower, said at the ribbon-cutting for the company’s manufacturing facility: “Our commitments to domestic manufacturing, job creating, and renewable energy have all been important drivers during our initial efforts here in Michigan.”

This report originally appeared in the Sept. 2012 NRDC publication “American Wind Farms: Breaking Down the Benefits from Planning to Production.”