A Clean Energy Firm: Gamesa
Gamesa, a Spanish-owned wind turbine manufacturer, arrived in Pennsylvania in early 2005. Its first plant was a former U.S. Steel factory in Ebensburg, outside Pittsburgh—and some of its first hires were former steel workers from the old plant. Within a few years, Gamesa opened a second plant in Fairless Hills and a Philadelphia development office. The company currently employs about 1,000 Pennsylvanians.
Gamesa spokesperson Michael Peck said the company was drawn to Pennsylvania by the state's bipartisan legislative commitment to renewable energy, its proximity to large and accessible energy markets, and its native resources—wind, and a large, skilled workforce, the legacy of the once-mighty steel industry.1 The state's renewable energy portfolio standard—which requires electricity providers to supply at least a certain amount of power from renewable sources—was set earlier and more aggressively than similar policies in other states, an encouraging signal to Gamesa that there would be local demand for its product, Peck said. In addition, Pennsylvania is situated among many other states with large energy demands, limited wind resources or land for wind farm development and renewable portfolio standards, he said. "We've had an opportunity through the challenge that's facing our environment to take this manufacturing DNA and attain world leadership in green energy and manufacturing," Peck said.
1 Pew interview with Michael Peck, director of Media, Institutional and Labor Relations in North America for GamesaUSA, April 3, 2009.