The shipping area of the 80,000-square-feet production facility on ABB’s New Berlin, Wis., campus was the site September 30 for the state’s governor to sign new “wind siting reform legislation.” The bill calls for the creation of uniform siting standards for wind energy projects; see details at http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2009/data/SB-185.pdf.

“This setting is extremely appropriate for the formal signing of this bill today,” Governor Jim Doyle said. “You can see right next to us here electrical equipment being made that is critical to wind power producers that are creating energy from sites here in the state.” Doyle signed the bill, following a brief introduction from ABB managers to motor drive technology -- and how drives save up to 60 percent of the energy motors consume, when they are used to operate a motor at the precise speeds needed.

The ABB campus manufactures thousands of drives, and sells motors, each week for use in a host of industrial and commercial applications, including those for original equipment manufacturers of solar and wind energy.

Skyrocketing Interest
“The focus of this business, throughout the 27 years in this state, has been on creating automation equipment and solutions that deliver ever-increasing energy efficiency and productivity to process industries and commercial facilities throughout North America,” noted Rick Hepperla, when introducing the governor to employees. Hepperla, the regional manager of Automation Products, North America, for ABB, said these solutions include producing an array of products and solutions for all types of energy producers. “We are seeing interest in the alternative energy sector skyrocket,” he said.

A host of guests attended the event, including state representatives, senators, and interested parties from associations and businesses. All of the 400 employees from the campus were invited to the address and signing ceremony.

ABB, Automation Products, Low Voltage Drives, is the world's largest manufacturer of electric motors and drives. In the USA, an integrated channel of sales representatives, distributors, and system integrators allow ABB, New Berlin, Wisconsin, to supply a complete line of energy-efficient electric drives, motors and engineered drive systems to a wide range of industrial and commercial customers. Products manufactured include AC and DC variable speed drives for electric motors from 1/8th through 135,000 horsepower, and application-specific drive system solutions to meet diverse customer needs.

ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 120,000 people.