Waukesha Electric Systems, an SPX company, is using federal stimulus funding to expand its plant by 154,000 square feet and will ramp up production by adding 250 jobs over the next three years.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu visited the plant in Waukesha last week to view the impact of the clean energy investments from President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Efficient power transformers are a critical component in the development of a flexible and more reliable national electricity grid, and the power transformers built at Waukesha Electric Systems are more than 99.5 percent efficient, Chu said.
The plant was selected for more than $12 million in Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits from the stimulus act last year.
“Waukesha Electric Systems is not only a great Wisconsin manufacturer – it is important to the whole country as we face one of the most important energy challenges: upgrading our electricity distribution network, much of which is many decades old,” Chu said. “To lead in the clean energy race, we must regain the lead in high-tech manufacturing, and the investments made in this facility will make Wisconsin a national leader in producing large scale and highly efficient power transformers.”
The facility expansion is on track to be completed by the end of this year. More than 100 construction workers have been on site this week.
The company expects to ship its first unit from the expanded facility in the first half of 2012. The firm already has received eight orders.
Chu was led on his tour of the plant by Thom Farrell, president and chief executive officer of Waukesha Electric Systems.