Blade Dynamics Fails to Meet Cleantech Incentive Benchmarks

Several wind farms have been proposed for Louisiana in the past. One cleantech company, Blade Dynamics, announced in 2010 a move to New Orleans to begin manufacturing wind turbine blades at the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF).

Blade DynamicsThe Louisiana Economic Development (LED) provided an incentive package totaling nearly $30 million in value. Per the incentive package, Blade Dynamics had to create 600 direct jobs by 2015, with benchmarks of 200 jobs by 2012, 300 this year and 450 by 2014.

In August 2010, Governor Jindal announced a modified projection from LED. “LED estimates that the new, direct jobs will result in the creation of more than 970 new, indirect jobs, for a total of more than 1,570 new, direct and indirect jobs in Louisiana.”

After Blade Dynamics CEO Theo Botha disclosed employment records, it became apparent that the company was failing to meet employment benchmarks set in 2010.

LED Secretary Stephen Moret attributed the shortcoming to to wind energy market conditions.

“The performance-based state incentive package is being adjusted accordingly, i.e., lower incentives proportionate to less jobs than originally planned at this point in time,” said Moret.

With the unpredictable tax credit and market conditions, including an overall decline in turbine installations in 2013, the future of Blade Dynamics is unsure.

Another wind turbine manufacturer, which received a $22 million incentive package in Arkansas, announced the closing of their Jonesboro plant in June 2013. City Business reported that an over saturated global market, a lack of U.S. demand for wind turbines and an unstable outlook for the federal tax credit that spurs the wind farm development manufacturers rely on for business were reasons Nordex cited for closing.

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