Turbine repair company Moventas increasing local presence

Staff Writer

Big Spring's economy has traditionally been tied to the ups and downs of the oil and gas markets; but, within the past 10 years or so, more and more tall, white wind turbines have been popping up on the hills and plains around Howard County and other nearby counties. At the City Council meeting Sept. 26, Big Spring's leadership struck a deal with a company that's been a Big Spring fixture since 2007 to help with increasing its presence locally.
The council agreed to lease Building 9 at the McMahon-Wrinkle Airpark to Moventas, a Finnish company that repairs the gearbox transmissions that are found in all wind turbines. The company is closing facilities elsewhere in the United States and consolidating operations locally.
Moventas currently occupies a facility on North Benton Street and the old Coca Cola warehouse on West Highway 80, said Economic Development Corporation director Terry Wegman.
"They've had three places in the United States: Portland, Ore., Minneapolis, and Big Spring," Wegman said. "I think Portland was one of their first sites in the United States. This is a Finnish company, they're based out of Finland. They have a bunch of sites around Europe, and then they have the United States sites. Back when this all started, some of the earliest big centers were on the west coast, and up around Minnesota and those areas. Then a lot of that activity moved to Texas. Texas is the largest producer of wind energy, currently. We just passed California some years ago. So those sites, and this is my opinion, were not in the center of the activity any longer."

For more on this story, see Monday's edition of the Herald.