Clipper crosses the pond
Carpinteria-based Clipper Windpower broke ground Feb. 18 on a factory in the United Kingdom to produce some of the largest offshore wind turbines in the world.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown attended the ceremony near Newcastle, where Clipper is building a 43,000-square-foot plant. Slated for completion late this year, it will build 236-foot-long blades for Clipper’s 10-megawatt Britannia turbine, a 574-foot-tall sea-based machine.
With headquarters in Carpinteria and a factory in Iowa, Clipper is perhaps the second biggest domestic wind turbine maker behind General Electric, cranking out the 2.5-megawatt Liberty turbine for land-based, big-scale wind farms. Much of the technology in General Electric’s turbines originated with Clipper’s founders, and the company vaulted to more intense competition with the industrial giant when it received a $206 million cash infusion from G.E. competitor United Technologies Corp. earlier this year.