Siemens supplies wind turbines for 1,050 MW of MidAmerican capacity

Siemens Energy said Dec. 16 that the 1,050-MW wind turbine order it recently received from MidAmerican Energy 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 Gov. Terry Branstad; Mark Albenze, the CEO of Siemens Energy Wind Power Americas; Tim Holt, CEO of Siemens Energy Service Renewables; and Bill Fehrman, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy.

“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,” said Albenze. “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 Fehrman. “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.”

“Iowa is a leader in wind generation, and I welcome the opportunity to expand renewable energy in our great state,” said Gov. 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 MW of additional wind generation in Iowa by the end of 2015. Construction activity is underway at each of the project sites. MidAmerican announced the start of construction on the projects on Nov. 6.

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-MW, G2 platform wind turbines and will be installed at MidAmerican Energy’s:

  • 500-MW Highland project in O’Brien County;
  • 250-MW Lundgren project in Webster County;
  • 138.6-MW Wellsburg project in Grundy County; and
  • 117-MW Macksburg project located in Madison County.

The order also called for 19 wind turbines at the 44-MW Vienna II wind project expansion in Marshall County, which is fully constructed. In addition to the turbines, the contract also includes a service, maintenance and warranty agreement.

This major order for 1,050 MW 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, Siemens noted. That tax credit only currently goes to projects that are in construction by the end of this year and expires beyond that. Congress, which is in its final session days for 2013, would need to act to extend it.

“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.”

MidAmerican Energy, Iowa’s largest energy company, provides electric service to 734,000 customers and natural gas service to 714,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.