Wind power chief says Santa Paula wooed him
Santa Barbara-based Continental Wind Power, a startup planning to build mid-sized wind energy turbines, has chosen Santa Paula as the site for its proposed factory, the company said June 29.
Continental will open an office in Santa Paula this summer to begin recruiting potential workers for the plant, which it hopes will employ between 300 and 500 people. It plans to start producing and shipping wind turbines as early as next year.
Jim Winsayer, chief executive of the company, said he turned down offers from cities in Oregon, Colorado and Texas in favor of Santa Paula because city officials were eager to work with Continental on issues from finding a site to making sure the city’s schools could handle an influx of workers’ children.
“The city has an incredible number of very positive people who are looking to attract new companies, particularly sustainable companies, to their city,” Winsayer told the Business Times on June 29. “It was really all across the board. Everyone we met there was very enthusiastic in pursuing bringing us to them.”
The turbines produced by the plant would generate between 300 kilowatts and 900 kilowatts of energy. Winsayer said the company is evaluating whether to retrofit an existing building in the city or move into a temporary site while the company builds its ideal plant.
Continental said it plans to announce the exact location of the site within 90 days. It’s working with suppliers to persuade them to co-locate in Santa Paula.
•For a deeper look at the alternative energy sector in the Tri-Counties, see the July 3 edition of the Business Times.