Siemens expands wind-energy portfolio in US

7 Jan 2011

Siemens has signed its largest onshore wind turbine order ever as it enters into a contract with MidAmerican Energy for 258 units in Iowa, providing clean energy for circa 190,000 average US homes upon completion.

According to Siemens Energy, which has diversified hugely into the supply of environmentally friendly technologies in recent years, 258 of its SWT-2.3-101 units will be installed at three MidAmerican Energy Company wind projects in Iowa for a combined capacity of 593MW.

Rene Umlauft, CEO of Siemens Renewable Energy Division, said: “As the US market for wind power continues to develop even further, Siemens will continue to create clean-energy jobs in America’s heartland.”

Siemens Energy currently provides power systems that generate more than one-third of the electricity used in the US. It’s also diversifying into the gas turbine area, opening a new 400,000-sq-foot, 60Hz gas turbine production plant adjacent to its existing Siemens steam turbine-generator manufacturing plant in Charlotte, North Carolina in October 2010.

Wind energy and the US

Since 2005, Siemens has been striving to make its mark in the US wind-energy industry. As well as its Kansas-based assembly plant, it has also expanded its 600,000 sq-foot wind turbine blade manufacturing facility in Fort Madison, Iowa.

Siemens has a Houston-based wind-turbine service operation, an R&D centre in Boulder, Colorado, two gearbox factories in Elgin, Illinois, while the company’s Americas headquarters in based in Orlando, Florida.

Clean-energy jobs

In the US, Siemens employs close to 1,500 people in the wind business and has installed wind turbines with a combined capacity of more than 3,600MW there (enough to supply power to more than 1 million average homes).

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic