Currently resting at the Port of Olympia is a shipment of windmill blades. They arrived on the Industrial Cape and the Industrial Eagle and have been here since early May. They'll probably remain for most of the summer, according to Jim Knight, the Port's Business Development Manager.
The windblades are on a journey from Santos, Brazil to sites in Wyoming and Washington. The Wyoming shipment has already left the Port.
The rest will be shipped to Vantage, near Ellensburg, as construction sites become ready for their installation. Knight said their customer is General Electric. If my internet research is correct, they’ll be part of the Vantage Wind Energy Project, under development by Invenergy Wind North America, LLC. When completed it will be capable of generating 103 megawatts, and Puget Sound Energy may buy power from the project.
The windblades are manufactured by Tecsis (Tecnologia e Sistemas Avançados) a 14-year-old Brazilian company out of São Paulo that engineers components for wind energy and industrial ventilation.
How much revenue these shipments are bringing to the Port is unclear, but the Industrial Cape shipment generated about 1,900 longshore hours—that's direct employment for local dock workers.
It's unlikely that these wind projects are being funded even partially by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, said Knight. I didn’t attempt to find out for sure.
Regardless, I’m pleased that this kind of business is going through our Port.
If you want to see more photos of the windblades, go to my photostream.