Genmar moves into wind

MINNEAPOLIS – Genmar Holdings Inc., has formed a subsidiary company called VEC Technology, based in Greenville, Pa., that has spent the last year developing composite wind blades for the wind energy industry, the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal reported in a story yesterday.

VEC, the closed-molded fiberglass manufacturing technology Genmar uses to make boats, is supposedly more precise, consistent, cleaner and more automated than other wind blade manufacturing techniques. Many of the existing large fiberglass wind energy blades in North America have severe cracking and non-performance problems, according to Jacobs in the story.

Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens has a board seat on the new venture and is an equity investor, the newspaper reported Jacobs said in an interview. Other board members include Tom Gunkel, the CEO of Minneapolis-based M.A. Mortenson Co. and former New York Gov. George Pataki, the newspaper reported.

Last September, during a news conference in Minneapolis with Pickens, Jacobs hinted the men were working on a new business venture in the wind energy field. Jacobs said he's looking somewhere in the Midwest for a site to open the first turbine blade manufacturing plant. He also said he's already been courted by officials in four states and is planning to open other plants that would use the VEC technology to make other products, the Business Journal reported.

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