Nordex USA Closes Wind Turbine Plant Despite Millions in Subsidies

Published July 18, 2013

Wind turbine manufacturer Nordex USA announced it will close its Arkansas production facility after accepting millions of dollars in subsidies and promising to create 750 jobs. Nordex employed only 50 workers at its Jonesboro, Arkansas facility on June 28 when the company announced it would be shutting down turbine production in the state.

Gov. Mike Beebe (D) committed Arkansas taxpayers to millions of dollars in subsidies to attract Nordex to the state in 2008. Beebe gave Nordex $8 million from the Governor’s Quick-Action Closing Fund. The Arkansas Development Finance Authority gave Nordex another $11 million.

The wind turbine manufacturer never came close to creating the 750 jobs it promised when receiving taxpayer subsidies. The company reports its Arkansas facility employed approximately 100 workers at its peak.

Nordex officials blamed its decision to close the production facility on uncertainty about federal subsidies. Even while accepting Arkansas state taxpayer subsidies, Nordex officials said they needed more certainty of additional federal subsidies to keep their production facility open.

Beebe attended a grand opening for the production facility in 2010, telling the media and attendees, “The clean-energy sector has great potential for creating high-quality jobs in Arkansas and across the United States.”

Despite the millions of dollars in Arkansas taxpayer subsidies, few high-quality jobs ever materialized and the Jonesboro plant will soon close.

The Nordex wind turbine facility joined Solyndra, Evergreen Solar, Beacon Power, and many other failed companies and projects that accepted generous taxpayer subsidies, then failed to deliver on job creation promises and halted operations or filed for bankruptcy.

James M. Taylor ([email protected]) is managing editor of Environment & Climate News.