OKLAHOMA WIND - THE FUTURE"S OK
Oklahoma is the state where, in the words of the Rodgers and Hammerstein song, “…the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain.”
It requires an industry to turn that wind into electricity. Part of that industry is making turbines. Part of making turbines is what DMI Industries does. Kevin Ishmael, DMI: "We manufacture tubular towers for the wind industry right now…"
Asian and European wind companies are perhaps ahead of most U.S. companies in turbine parts manufacturing but towers and blades are huge and need to be where the assembly takes place because shipping such enormous pieces over long distances is just too expensive, especially in a carbon-constrained world.
Turbine towers are built as 3 sections, aptly named “cans” because they look like giant tin cans. Each is 40 to 50 feet long and 15 feet in diameter. Each has its own blueprints for affixing electrical components. The cans are assembled at the wind farm site by bolting one atop another. (And it is SERIOUS bolting.)
DMI presently has orders through 2012. They and other turbine part manufacturers are working 24/7 to meet a demand that will only keep on growing as the industry drives steadily toward producing 20% of U.S. electricity by 2030.
Ishmael, about his 200 employees' demanding labor: "They're very proud of being a part of their future and that's where wind energy is, it's part of their future…"
They’re probably pretty happy about the money, too.
Wind energy has become a central force in U.S. power generation. (click to enlarge)
Wind Towers May Be Key To Future Energy
May 23, 2008 (NewsOn6 via KOTV-Tulsa)
DMI CEO Lar Moeller in the can. (click to enlarge)
DMI Industries builds the towers for the turbines. It s200 employees are working 24/7 to meet incessant demand.
DMI Industries has been in Oklahoma less than a year but has just shipped its first towers.
Putting a can in place. (click to enlarge)
DMI Industries is based in Tulsa, OK. It shipped its first towers to a wind farm in Northern Texas. It expects to serve the Texas/Kansas/Colorado region.
The wind energy industry has declared it will provide 20% of U.S. electricity by 2030 and the U.S. Department of Energy has affirmed the industry’s capacity to do so.
Cans are constructed by rolling a flat metal sheet and welding it. Each can has a lip so the pieces can be bolted together.
Inside a trubine tower. (click to enlarge)
Kevin Ishmael, DMI: "All indicators are that [wind energy is] here and it's going to be here for quite some time…"