Nordex USA, Inc. will repay more than $2.5 million to Arkansas and Jonesboro in grants received to establish its North American wind turbine manufacturing facilities in Craighead County, noted a Friday (Aug. 30) press release from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.
Nordex announced earlier this year that, as a result of uncertainty in the wind energy market in North America, it would be consolidating its manufacturing in Germany and maintaining the Jonesboro location as its American base for service and warehousing and the Nordex Academy for training staff and customers.
“Nordex has been a dedicated partner in moving wind manufacturing forward and creating Arkansas jobs. Unfortunately, that dedication has not been shared by the United States Congress, which repeatedly fails to establish a long-term policy for wind energy,” Gov. Mike Beebe said in the statement. “But even now, under these unfortunate circumstances, Nordex continues working with Arkansas to ensure that taxpayer incentives are properly repaid. Hopefully, the U.S. government will act more pragmatically in the future and Nordex will again ramp up production in Jonesboro.”
A total of $3.91 million of the Governor’s Quick Action Fund was paid out for the project – $2.51 million for site preparation, a training facility and training expenses, and another $1.4 million to Jonesboro for rail and road work which remain as infrastructure improvements. The state will recoup nearly $2.31 million and Jonesboro will get $204,814.
Taken into account is the fact Nordex earlier returned to the state more than $263,000 it received in an earned Create Rebate payment when it realized it would not be able to move forward and layoffs were imminent.
“We receive a lot of questions about clawbacks,” said Grant Tennille, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “The process works, and in this case rather quickly. When it happens that we need to use clawbacks, we will negotiate keeping the unique circumstances of every project in mind.”
With this agreement, all draws against the committed Quick Action Funds stop and the balances will be used for future projects.