$70 million expansion planned for Waukesha Electric Systems plant

Charlotte, N.C.-based SPX Corp. announced this week that it is planning a $70 million expansion of the Waukesha Electric Systems headquarters and manufacturing facility at 400 S. Prairie Ave. in Waukesha.
Waukesha Electric Systems Inc. is a division of SPX’s industrial products and services segment.
The company plans to add 140,000 square feet of space to Waukesha Electric Systems’ 292,000-square-foot plant. Construction is expected to begin in the fall of this year and be completed by the fourth quarter of 2011.
The expansion is expected to eventually create 250 permanent jobs. Waukesha Electric Systems currently has more than 500 employees at the plant at 400 S. Prairie Ave. The expansion will result in 100 new permanent jobs by the fourth quarter of 2011 and the company plans to add an additional 150 permanent jobs “over several years,” said spokeswoman Jennifer Epstein.
Waukesha Electric is receiving numerous government subsidies for the expansion project. Gov. Jim Doyle announced this week that the state will provide $4 million in tax credits to Waukesha Electric for its expansion project. In January, Waukesha Power Systems received $12.45 million in tax credits from the federal government, as part of the economic stimulus package, to expand the Waukesha plant. In addition, the city of Waukesha plans to provide $9 million in tax incremental financing (TIF) for the expansion project. TIF funds are repaid to the government by tax revenue increases in the TIF district.
Waukesha Electric Systems builds power transformers that are used by utilities, independent power producers and independent transmission operators. SPX said the expansion project will extend the company’s ability to manufacture large, high-voltage power transformers.
SPX expects demand for large power transformers to increase because of their ability to transmit power generated at wind farms and solar power generation facilities to distant load centers. In addition, the company says the “high efficiency” of the large power transformers makes them a good option for replacing older, less efficient transformers.
“We are now taking steps to strategically expand Waukesha’s manufacturing capacity and increase its ability to produce large power units for the North American power grid,’ said SPX chairman, president and chief executive officer, Christopher Kearney.
“The expansion of our Waukesha, Wisconsin facility will enable us to offer the broadest array of power transformers of any domestic manufacturer in business today,” said Tom Brockley, president of Waukesha Power Systems.

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