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Given the amount of turbines currently being put in the ground across the country, companies on the maintenance side are excited about steady sector growth.


However, not all of this growth is simply demand based. Changing legislation is also playing a significant factor. Most importantly, the Production Tax Credit, or PTC, a key factor in helping wind developers access the capital needed for new projects, is gradually being phased out. “Everybody, all the developers, are trying to get


their projects in prior to the expiration of the PTC,” said Ortiz. “Tere will be a cliff as the PTC expires, and people continue trying to move forward.” David Cowley, President of BOSS Crane & Rigging,


agreed that recent growth in the industry is closely tied to the PTC’s expiration. “We’ve seen the industry grow in the last two years,” he said. “I think everyone’s concern is about the PTC, and new construction and repair work, that could be affected.” However, BOSS primarily works in turbine maintenance, and David is confident in their continued growth. “With as many turbines as are being put in the ground this year,” he said, “the maintenance business will continue to grow.”


Similarly, Ortiz’s confidence isn’t shaken. He believes that wind energy in the U.S. will be able to adapt after the PTC expires, and keep growing, expanding, and innovating. “We know wind isn’t going anywhere,” he noted.


NEW CHANGES, NEW CHALLENGES Founded in 1981, RES has been a leader in wind energy since the beginning, even installing the UK’s first wind turbine. “Not only did we engineer the construction side of it, but we designed the turbine that was actually erected,” Ortiz pointed out. “We’ve been in the industry since its inception, and are very proud of that.” In that time, RES has seen wind technology continuously innovate, which creates a constantly developing set of rigging and lifting challenges. “When I started in the industry, the biggest machine


was a Mitsubishi 1.0,” he explained, “and now we are putting up machines, inland, that are 4.2 MW machines, 3.6 MW machines. So, the size of the cranes


WIRE ROPE EXCHANGE


SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER 2018


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