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Wind-powered implant

Gloucester is a breezy seaport on the Massachusetts coastline. The town is also home to Varian SEA, a major player in perfecting ion-implant beamlines. Soon, two wind turbines may help power the
company’s production lines.

Rob Johnson, VSEA’s facilities director and project leader, says that on the basis of a favorable feasibility study completed last year, the
company plans to install two 1.5–2.0 MW wind turbines—one near the front entrance to the main building and the other near a water tower in the back of the property. Together, the big-bladed towers will generate up to 10 million kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity, or about half of the site’s energy needs.

It’s not a done deal, since VSEA still needs to get the necessary approvals from local zoning, planning, and elected authorities. But the outlook seems promising. “The February 28 [public] meeting went very well,” notes

Johnson. “I’d say 80/20 of the comments were favorable among
the residents in attendance.”

“We hope to have all approvals in the next 120 days,” he said in early March. “We expect construction/ installation/start-up to be completed by August 31, 2007, due to long lead times to receive the wind turbines once we place a purchase order.”

Wind power may be a novel concept for many veterans of the semiconductor capital equipment business, but long lead times
certainly are not.

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