A German wind energy company is opening its first American facility in northwest Iowa. Windtest plans to open its North American headquarters in the new Sustainable Energy Resource and Technology (SERT) building on the Estherville campus of Iowa Lakes Community College.

Kathy Evert, president and CEO of the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation, says this announcement has been four years in the making. Evert says, “We were told there was a German company looking to do something in the U.S. and we were introduced to them and we’ve been talking and meeting and getting to know them and have brought them here several times since then.”

Evert says Windtest North America will be a technical service provider for the renewable energy industry. “The first phase this company’s going to do are wind energy services, testing, measuring, trouble shooting for developers, grid operators and those kinds of things,” she says. In the market since 1996, Windtest has established itself internationally as an accredited measuring and testing institute and made its name worldwide as an independent evaluator and service provider in the wind energy sector.

Evert says Windtest plans to open its office in Estherville this summer. “Initially, they’re looking at up to ten employees over the next couple of years,” she says, “and there’s another project that they’re working on so it could grow from there.” Windtest president and CEO Monika Kraemer says the company is very happy and extremely proud to open the office in the new SERT building at Iowa Lakes.

The building is expected to be completed by late August.

By Ed Funston, KILR, Estherville