More wind power on tap for Texas Panhandle

A Spanish steel company is planning to bring more wind power to Texas by building a new manufacturing plant in the Panhandle.

GRI Renewable Industries, the industrial wind division of Gonvarri Steel Industries, said it intends to build a wind tower manufacturing plant in Amarillo that would employ 300 people and build 400 towers a year.

Final tax incentive details are still being worked out with the Economic Development Corporation of Amarillo Texas, according to the company. But Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed that the state is offering a Texas Enterprise Fund grant of $1.85 million.

GRI Renewable CEO Javier Imaz said in the announcement that the plant is expected to be operational by late 2016.

“With this new factory in the U.S. market, GRI will utilize its experience and know-how as a leading global supplier of wind towers,” Imaz said in a prepared statement. “We initially considered locations in several states as a part of our business strategy to serve the U.S. wind industry. Our decision to select Amarillo included key factors such as the pro-business environment in the state of Texas, Amarillo’s favorable geographical location and good workforce, as well as a package of state and local incentives.”

Gonvarri formed GRI Renewable Industries in 2008 and it currently has 10 manufacturing plants in Spain, Brazil, China, Turkey, India and South Africa that manufacture and supply wind towers and flanges to the wind energy industry worldwide.