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Aporkalypse

Little Rock Port development

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Per Roby Brock, more big news supposedly to come tomorrow - Beebe and Stodola will announce at the Governor's Mansion that the LR Port complex has landed the windmill blade manufacturer they sought, Danish company Vestas. It is supposedly a "superproject", meaning $150 million in investment and more than 500 jobs, though nobody knows just how many yet. These blades are two football fields long and in tremendous demand - demand exceeds supply right now by several years. This could mean further expansion, the U.S. corporate office for the company, and suppliers and affiliates locating in LR. The company only has one other U.S. facility which employes 600 in North Dakota.

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Per Roby Brock, more big news supposedly to come tomorrow - Beebe and Stodola will announce at the Governor's Mansion that the LR Port complex has landed the windmill blade manufacturer they sought, Danish company Vestas. It is supposedly a "superproject", meaning $150 million in investment and more than 500 jobs, though nobody knows just how many yet. These blades are two football fields long and in tremendous demand - demand exceeds supply right now by several years. This could mean further expansion, the U.S. corporate office for the company, and suppliers and affiliates locating in LR. The company only has one other U.S. facility which employes 600 in North Dakota.

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Per Roby Brock, more big news supposedly to come tomorrow - Beebe and Stodola will announce at the Governor's Mansion that the LR Port complex has landed the windmill blade manufacturer they sought, Danish company Vestas.

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Interesting news. I had wondered if anyone in Arkansas was trying to go after one of these plants. I have been hearing more and more about wind energy and so far most of it is being done over in Europe. As big as these windmills are I don't think it's very cheap to try to ship them over here. So I figured more would be built here in the US. I don't know that too many people are seriously looking to put up any wind farms here in Arkansas. But you're seeing a lot pop up out west. Even just a little west of us over into Oklahoma.

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Interesting news. I had wondered if anyone in Arkansas was trying to go after one of these plants. I have been hearing more and more about wind energy and so far most of it is being done over in Europe. As big as these windmills are I don't think it's very cheap to try to ship them over here. So I figured more would be built here in the US. I don't know that too many people are seriously looking to put up any wind farms here in Arkansas. But you're seeing a lot pop up out west. Even just a little west of us over into Oklahoma.

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Glad to LR landed the project.

About two years ago, when I was doing a science fair project on fuel cells, I read a book on alternative energy. It covered wind energy, and it had a map of "wind levels" across the US with average wind speeds.

As far as I remember, pretty much all of Arkansas was poor for wind energy harnessing, with the river valley being the ok.

The western states, with their wider plains, bigger mountains, and deeper valleys, were much better overall.

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Looking at the map I found online, it appears I was completely off. The River Valley is actually worst for wind power:

wherewind565w.jpg

Interesting that most of the southeast is bad...

The Ozarks and Ouachitas, with the highest elevations, are best.

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Looking at the map I found online, it appears I was completely off. The River Valley is actually worst for wind power:

wherewind565w.jpg

Interesting that most of the southeast is bad...

The Ozarks and Ouachitas, with the highest elevations, are best.

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Per the press conference, one of the highlights is that this development will include their North American Headquarters!

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This has been discussed in the media for a few months, it may not have made it to the NW Ark edition.

There is supposed to be a giant windfarm project in South Texas. The problem right now is lack of the windmills themselves and this will definitely help.

As LitUPP said it is LM Glasfiber, I was confused.

The plant will cost $150 million to build and will employ 1000 within 5 years.

Other details will be revealed in a PC this afternoon.

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Looking at the map I found online, it appears I was completely off. The River Valley is actually worst for wind power:

wherewind565w.jpg

Interesting that most of the southeast is bad...

The Ozarks and Ouachitas, with the highest elevations, are best.

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It's not a big suprise that they plan to move their corporate hq from Chicago to Little Rock. Most of their manufacturing anf training will be done hear so their administrative structure should be as well. It will be a lot cheaper to operate out of Little Rock than Chicago. The only negative is air service to larger American cities an Europe, but they most of took that in consideration when choosing Little Rock. Remember Service Master just moved their hq from Chicago to Memphis because most of their operations are there.

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This will be a great boost for our port and our city. Anyone else catch the irony in a windmill manufacturer leaving the "windy city"?

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The alternative energy industry making headway in a little, poor southern state. Who would have thought?

Nice point, Arkansasfiddler.

BTW, I really liked how their CEO used Arkansas' catch phrase: And when we considered the kind of amenities that are conducive for LM Glasfiber to attract and retain the people and talent we need, Little Rock was a natural choice for us.

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With this plant being placed in Little Rock, I was wondering, does anyone see any of these ever being put to use in Arkansas? While I have heard of occasional windmills, but those of a smaller scale, put on some private land. But nothing like an actual wind farm. I even question if the few people in Arkansas that actually have windmills (for power) if they have more than just one of two of the smaller type.

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With this plant being placed in Little Rock, I was wondering, does anyone see any of these ever being put to use in Arkansas? While I have heard of occasional windmills, but those of a smaller scale, put on some private land. But nothing like an actual wind farm. I even question if the few people in Arkansas that actually have windmills (for power) if they have more than just one of two of the smaller type.

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That map johnny showed argues against it. The flatlands of South and East Arkansas are in the worst category for wind energy and wouldn't be worth the effort. The Ozarks and Ouachitas have more wind but aren't flat enough to make it practical.

I think we just benefitted from being between the flat Midwest and Texas, the two top wind farming regions.

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True, aside from NWA and Hot Springs, I guess there's not a whole lot of population in those areas.

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The department of energy website has two different wind energy maps: macro and micro. The map I showed earlier was the macro version.

The website warns that wind conditions are quite variable at the micro level, so it's important to study the land at micro level. The energy website has more detailed maps for most states, excluding Arkansas. According to the website, Arkansas is the next state slotted to get its wind energy levels tested at the micro-level. You can find them here.

I was browsing around, and it appears that Missouri is the only bordering state that has a government validated energy map. This micro level map seems to be at odds with the macro-level map, which shows that southwest Missouri is the best for wind energy. This could potentially mean that Arkansas is even worse for wind energy than we thought:

mo_50m_800.jpg

Here's the summary of Missouri, according to the website:

This map shows the highest wind resources in Missouri are found in the extreme northwestern part of the state. Class 3 areas are concentrated from St. Joseph north to the Iowa border. Particular locations in the Class 3 areas could have higher wind power class values at 80-m than shown on the 50-m map because of possible high wind shear. Given the advances in technology, a number of locations in the Class 3 areas may be suitable for utility-scale wind development.

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Here's another map of arkansas.

Like I mentioned before, it's probably pretty inaccurate at the micro level:

map3-41.gif

Class 3 is the lowest level of utility, i.e. windmills can be built there. It's interesting to note that the "dependence of wind power on air density and on the cube of the wind speed," as pointed out on the website. That means the difference in power output from class 3 to class 4 is potentially huge.

The Ouachitas do not have a lot of flat areas to build windmills, but the Ozark Plateau (eroded so much that it's sometimes referred to as the Ozark Mountains) should have a lot of flat mountain tops. Still, it might not be feasible.

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Here's another map of arkansas.

Like I mentioned before, it's probably pretty inaccurate at the micro level:

Class 3 is the lowest level of utility, i.e. windmills can be built there. It's interesting to note that the "dependence of wind power on air density and on the cube of the wind speed," as pointed out on the website. That means the difference in power output from class 3 to class 4 is potentially huge.

The Ouachitas do not have a lot of flat areas to build windmills, but the Ozark Plateau (eroded so much that it's sometimes referred to as the Ozark Mountains) should have a lot of flat mountain tops. Still, it might not be feasible.

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Another (less) major announcement today - another 200 jobs to be added as Sage V is locating a rice processing plant at the port of LR.

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