Chinese maker of offshore wind turbines, sets up U.S. base in Raleigh

Raleigh News & ObserverMarch 13, 2012 

A Chinese wind turbine manufacturer today announced the opening of a research-and-development facility in Raleigh in anticipation for demand for its offshore turbines in this country.

Ming Yang Wind Power plans to conduct research on lowering the cost of offshore wind power, which remains one of the most expensive forms of renewable energy. But the company isn’t limiting its U.S. ambitions to research, hoping eventually to establish a factory to assemble and ship its gear to giant wind farms as they are built.

Offshore wind farms use turbines that can be more than twice as large as land-based turbines; they have to be built to withstand hurricanes, require boats for routine maintenance, and depend on miles of undersea cable to connect to power grids.

No offshore wind farms have been built in this country, though a several are under development along the East Coast, including one proposed for offshore North Carolina.

“It will be crucial to bring down some of these costs,” said Shu Ching Quek, President of Ming Yang USA. “They’ve never [performed] to the full potential for what they were designed for.”

Ming Yang was founded in 2006 in the populous Guangdong Province on the South China Sea. The company, which employs about 3,000 people in China, is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange and competes with Chinese state-owned enterprises.

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