VAT-Getriebetechnik (VAT), an international manufacturer of wind turbines and renewable energy-powered lighting systems, announced today the company's plans to locate its U.S. headquarters and first North American manufacturing and service facility here, creating more than 120 new jobs by 2011.
The company, a provider of vertical vane wind turbines and solar-and-wind powered street lighting for municipal or neighborhood use, will invest $3.3 million to locate its North American headquarters in Park One Business Park in Muncie-Delaware County. Initially, the marketing, installation, service and maintenance operations will locate in an existing Park One building as new construction and existing buildings are considered for the future operations.
"Finding ways to be more energy independent has become increasingly necessary in today's worldand I can't think of a better place than right here in Indiana to launch the newest developments in alternative energy," said Governor Mitch Daniels. "We are celebrating today as another global leader in renewable energy innovation has chosen to plant its North American roots in our state."
VAT will split its lines of business into VAT-Service, LLC, a service and maintenance division for wind turbine gear boxes, and VAT-Energies, LLC, a manufacturing division which will specialize in vertical vane wind turbine and solar-and-wind powered street lighting production. The company's vertical vanes and unique street lighting systems are installed in locations around the world including Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa, host of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
"We see, in the U.S. marketplace, great opportunity based on our expertise in wind technology and renewable lighting alternatives for both commercial and community applications. The 20 years of expertise we bring from Europe has enabled the VAT-Group to succeed globally. We anticipate the same success in the U.S. marketplace," said Oliver Viehweider, president of VAT-Getriebetechnik.
The German company currently employs more than 130 employees in Germany and other parts of Europe. The company will begin hiring engineers, service technicians, logistics managers and administrative staff later this year.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered VAT up to $1 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on the company's job creation plans. Delaware County will purchase $1.5 million in solar-and-wind powered lights and a vertical vane windmill from VAT at the request of Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance-Vision 2011.
"We are excited about the opportunity to bring VAT to Delaware County. Increasing the presence of alternative energy companies is a strong component of our community's economic development effort. These are the type of high-paying, high tech companies that we want to bring to our community," said Todd Donati, president of the Delaware County Commissioners.
VAT is the second group of companies specializing in wind and renewable energy components production to select Indiana for its U.S. headquarters in the past year. Last fall Brevini announced plans to locate its North American wind turbine gear box manufacturing facilities in Delaware County, creating 450 jobs and adding millions in new capital investment.
In a report released this week by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the number of clean energy jobs in Indiana grew by nearly 18 percent between 1998 and 2007, ranking the state first in the industrial Midwest in overall job growth in the clean energy economy.