The Honorable United States Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) visited the ABB Medium Voltage Products facility in Lake Mary on November 22 to learn how companies like ABB, the world’s leading provider of transmission and distribution equipment for the power grid, are using advanced Smart Grid technologies to interconnect with America’s vast wind power resources.
Senator Nelson visited the ABB Power Products division’s Medium Voltage Products plant and took a walking tour of the large factory before meeting with ABB plant employees. The Senator and ABB officials discussed mutual goals and ways that government and the power industry might work together to promote standards and policies – such as the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) – that will further enhance growth in homegrown renewable energy sources, and jobs, within Florida and the United States.
ABB is heavily involved in providing infrastructure equipment for the wind industry, including medium voltage switchgear made in Lake Mary that helps interconnect wind power from wind farms to the nation’s power grids. ABB pioneered arc-resistant switchgear, which has greatly improved safety and saved lives in the face of arc flash hazards common in substations.
Lake Mary is also a Nuclear 1E-approved manufacturing site for medium voltage power products.
“We were honored and privileged to have Senator Nelson visit our ABB medium voltage products facility in Lake Mary,” said John Gawron, vice president and general manager of the ABB facility in Lake Mary. “We had a really positive and frank conversation about the need to maximize our vast homegrown wind resources, and how important it is to interconnect them onto the power grid.”
Senator Nelson praised ABB employees for their continued dedication in the face of tough market conditions. The Senator and ABB executives discussed the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) that has greatly benefited wind-related manufacturers in creating new jobs and new wind farms across the U.S. They discussed efforts in Washington to extend the PTC, which expires in 2012. There is currently a proposal to extend the credit for four years, in order to keep manufacturers from canceling production for U.S. wind projects, and jobs, in 2013 and beyond.
ABB provides wind power technology solutions for everything from electrical design to substation construction. ABB’s comprehensive product portfolio includes generators, low-voltage and medium-voltage converters, breakers, transformers, switchgear, low-voltage products and cables.