WIND ENERGY Plate mills are reaping profits down on the wind farm

Nov 01, 2007 | 10:50 AM |

Green rush? That might be too strong a term, but just as the discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevada kicked off the California gold rush in the mid-1800s, wind energy has enormous boom potential. And the steel industry stands at the head of the line to receive the windfall, with those not already involved in the industry at least taking a very close look at it.

Nucor Corp., Charlotte, N.C., began making plate for wind towers in 2005 and has steadily increased its participation since then, said Jeff Whiteman, sales manager at plate mill Nucor Steel-Hertford.

"Based on forecasts from the tower manufacturers, we expect business conditions to be strong for the next several years," Whiteman said, noting that many tower manufacturers are sold out through 2008 and are taking orders for 2009. The market for steel in wind and other alternative energies could grow as much as 15 percent a year, he added.....

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