Servicing the Wind
Tuesday, March 09, 2021
Solar and wind farms impress with the stupendous scale of their towers, blades and panels, stretching all the way to the horizon to capture every last drop of sun and breeze. Much of the economic opportunity related to them, however, takes place on smaller scale, in the form of services rendered to those massive displays of power from clusters of manufacturing, maintenance and services firms.
It can take the form of individual companies such as Cross Country Infrastructure Services, an Aurora, Colorado–based equipment and construction contractor supplier that announced in November it’s moving into growing wind and solar markets by increasing its fleet and product lines. And it can take the form of major wind energy ports such as the Port of Duluth in Minnesota, which in early December set a new inbound wind energy record of 525,000 freight tons of cargo in 2020 when it welcomed its final energy cargo vessel of the year, the BBC Swift, as it discharged wind turbine blades. The port’s previous high was the year before, with 306,000 freight tons. All told, the furthest inland seaport in North America has welcomed more than 1.1 million freight tons of wind cargo since 2015.