The Port of Vancouver is expected to announce “a major wind-energy cargo-handling agreement” today, building on the business that began in 2000.
The port already is a major importer for Vestas Wind Systems, whose North American headquarters are in Portland.
Port Executive Director Larry Paulson is scheduled to make the announcement at the agency’s annual meeting at the port-owned Red Lion Hotel Vancouver at the Quay.
The port’s expansion runs counter to recent media reports that installation of wind and solar power is plummeting because of the credit crisis.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that “trade groups are projecting 30 to 50 percent declines this year in installation of new equipment, barring more help from the government.”
Vancouver port officials, however, say they expect wind turbine-related work for longshore workers to increase 40 percent this year over 2007, the previous busiest year for turbine cargo, spokesman Nelson Holmberg said.
The port has been handling the cargo for Denmark-based Vestas since 2000. The two sides signed a five-year agreement in 2006 establishing Vancouver as the company’s exclusive Columbia River port.
Vancouver “is positioned to become the largest importer of wind energy on the U.S. West Coast,” a news release issued Wednesday says, “providing more than $20 million of local economic impact.”
In 2007, approximately 305 complete turbines and 120 towers were imported through Vestas.
Last year, the Vancouver port handled 167 towers, 39 hubs, 39 nacelles (the generating unit) and 117 blades. The downturn from 2007 was attributed to uncertainty about federal incentives.
Allan Brettman, The Oregonian – http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2009/02/port_of_vancouver_lands_deal_f.html