Siemens Power Generation announced on Aug. 17 that it will build its first U.S. wind turbine blade manufacturing site in Fort Madison, Iowa. The manufacturing facility which will be established in an existing 224,000-square-foot building, is expected to employ 250.
"This ... will further expand the capacities of our worldwide manufacturing network," said Randy Zwirn, president and CEO of Siemens Power Generation, Inc."Since the initial acquisition of Bonus Energy A/S in 2004, we expanded our existing blade plant in Aalborg / Denmark, opened an additional factory in Denmark, and now this is another important step in our strategy to build our global presence in the wind energy business, and serve growing markets," added Zwirn.
The blades to be manufactured at the new facility will be for Siemen's 2.3-MW wind turbines, which incorporates IntegralBlade technology. With this technology, the blade is cast in one piece in a single step from glass-fiber-reinforced epoxy resin in a closed, environmentally compatible process.
"Our state lies in the center of the largest wind generation region in the U.S., and therefore we're uniquely positioned to serve this promising market," said Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack.
The state of Iowa, Lee County and the city of Fort Madison pooled resources to provide an attractive incentive package to assist with the start-up effort. The Iowa Economic Development Board approved direct assistance from the Economic Development Set-Aside program and tax incentives from the High Quality Jobs Creation program as part of the agreement to locate the project in the state.
With the U.S. Department of Energy's goal of obtaining 6% of U.S. electricity from wind by 2020 and the growing public demand for clean energy, it is expected that wind energy will contribute an increasing amount of the nation's energy supply.