Editorial: High hopes for Acciona Op-Ed · April 12, 2013
In the month since Acciona Windpower cut its local workforce nearly in half, we can understand some of the gloom we are hearing on the streets. Yet we are still hopeful that Acciona is driven to keep its foothold in America with its local plant and participate in the growth of the wind industry.
CEO Joe Baker stated that Acciona is “committed at the highest level.”
But if you don’t put much stock in talk, consider that Acciona invested $23 million a bit more than five years ago to renovate the West Branch facility and owns no other turbine assembly plants in North America.
Acciona built a demonstration wind farm in nearby Mechanicsville and has not even hinted that there are any forces at work to push them out of Cedar County.
The U.S. Congress took its time renewing the 20-year-old production tax credit, which made investors nervous and put wind farm projects on hold. The PTC gives 2.2 cents credit for each kilowatt hour produced, putting wind energy costs in the range of carbon-heavy coal.
We wish Acciona the best as it tries to land new contracts that will restart its assembly line, put more Iowans back to work and get more turbines pumping clean electricity to the grid.