A California-based company announced Wednesday it will create a plant to make windmills for power companies in Cedar Rapids. Mark Seckman is president of Priority One, the business development arm of the Cedar Rapids Chamber of commerce. He says Clipper Windpower Incorporated plans a 22-million dollar plant to build its newest wind turbine. He says they’ll use 50 to 60-thousand square feet of an existing building with around 140 workers at an average wage of about 19-dollars-an-hour. Seckman says they’re excited about the new business. He says it’s “leading edge” technology that’s above what’s being produced by their competitors. He says the company will use many components built here in Iowa. Seckman says the company wants to get the plant up and running in six to eight weeks. He says they have to move at a rapid pace as they’ve spent over one year looking at over 36 states for the possible plant location. Seckman says the state is giving the company two-and-a-half to three million dollars in incentives and Cedar Rapids is kicking in some local tax incentives. He says it’s a worthwhile investment. He says they feel there could be an opportunity within the next three to five years to employ 300 to 400 people in Cedar Rapids. The Clipper Windpower website says the company has a regional office in Storm Lake. The company supplied turbines for an Alliant Energy windpower project in 2002.
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