Today,Monday, Dec. 16, Siemens Energy confirmed that the 1,050-megawatt (MW) wind turbine order it recently received from MidAmerican Energy Company is the largest onshore wind turbine order in the world. The news was announced at a commemoration event at Siemens' blade manufacturing facility in Fort Madison, Iowa.
In attendance at the event were federal, state, and local officials, including Iowa Governor Terry Branstad; Mark Albenze, the CEO of Siemens Energy Wind Power Americas; Tim Holt, CEO of Siemens Energy Service Renewables; Bill Fehrman, president and CEO, MidAmerican Energy; representatives from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Iowa Wind Energy Association (IWEA); along with employees, community members, landowners and local suppliers.
"We congratulate MidAmerican Energy on its leadership in renewable energy development in Iowa and the U.S. We are very excited that MidAmerican Energy has again selected us to partner with them on its latest wind expansion projects in Iowa, allowing us to continue to supply U.S.-made blades and nacelles," stated Mark Albenze, CEO of Siemens Energy's Wind Power Americas business. "The size and magnitude of this order confirms wind power's growing importance as part of a balanced energy mix in Iowa and the U.S."
"When the new projects are completed in 2015, MidAmerican Energy and Siemens will have provided more than 2.2 gigawatts of clean, wind-generated electricity in Iowa since 2008," said Bill Fehrman, president and CEO, MidAmerican Energy. "We look forward to working with Siemens over the next two years to construct five additional wind farms, which will have a major impact on Iowa's economy and energy future."
In 2012, wind energy was, for the first time ever, the No. 1 source of new electricity generation capacity. More wind power capacity was installed in the U.S. than any other form of power generation. Additionally, a record-setting $25 billion in private investment was added to the U.S. economy in new wind farm construction, making wind the top source of newly installed electric generating capacity, representing 42 percent of all new capacity. Since 2005, the wind industry has brought more than $105 billion of private investment into the economy.
"Iowa is a leader in wind generation, and I welcome the opportunity to expand renewable energy in our great state," said Iowa Governor Branstad. "It is great to have an Iowa-based energy company placing the world's largest onshore order for wind turbines in a facility that has produced more than 9,000 blades since the plant began operations in 2007. Together, these companies continue to greatly benefit Iowa's economy and demonstrate the state's commitment to renewable energy."
MidAmerican Energy's order consists of 448 Siemens wind turbines for five project sites which, together, will deliver 1,050 megawatts of additional wind generation in Iowa by the end of 2015. Construction activity is underway at each of the project sites.
Siemens Energy's Fort Madison, Iowa, facility will manufacture all the blades, while the nacelles and hubs will be assembled at the Siemens plant in Hutchinson, Kansas. All projects will utilize Siemens' 2.3-megawatt, G2 platform wind turbines and will be installed at MidAmerican Energy's 500-megawatt Highland wind project in O'Brien County; 250-megawatt Lundgren wind project in Webster County; 138.6-megawatt Wellsburg wind project in Grundy County; and 117-megawatt Macksburg wind project located in Madison County. The order also called for 19 wind turbines at the 44-megawatt Vienna II wind project expansion in Marshall County, which is fully constructed and delivering energy to Iowans. In addition to the wind turbines, the contract also includes a service, maintenance and warranty agreement.
Once complete, the new wind projects will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 317,000 average Iowa households.
Siemens Fort Madison Wind Turbine Manufacturing Plant:The Fort Madison, Iowa, plant was built seven years ago on the site of a closed tractor-trailer manufacturing business, which, at its peak, had 250 employees. Since then, Siemens has invested more than $100 million to turn it into an advanced manufacturing facility. The factory put out its first blade in 2007, was expanded in 2008 and currently employs approximately 500 people.
Local Employment Impact:
MidAmerican Energy's order supports more than 800 employees in Fort Madison, Iowa, and Hutchinson, Kansas. Approximately 1,000 construction jobs will be added to Iowa's economy during the two-year construction period for the new wind turbines, and approximately 40 new permanent jobs will be added when the expansion is complete.
The Production Tax Credit (PTC):
This major order for 1,050 megawatts is evidence that the federal production tax credit continues to boost new job growth and economic investment in the U.S. while keeping electricity rates low and encouraging development of proven renewable energy projects. The positive economic impact of these projects is helping revive communities, states, and the U.S. as a whole. For example, the growth of the wind industry has contributed to the growth in the wind service industry, a source of new jobs. Siemens recently opened a new Wind Service Training Center in Orlando, Florida, to serve all of the Americas and created more than 50 jobs in the process.
"Extending the production tax credit is critical to giving the wind industry the certainty needed to continue to make investments," said Albenze. "These projects demonstrate that wind power is a viable and sustainable part of the U.S. energy mix. This industry has arrived. Let's ensure it will thrive."