DES MOINES | Siemens will produce 448 turbines at its Fort Madison plant for a $1.9 billion wind energy development, officials said Monday. Some of the devices will go to O’Brien County.
The project is expected to create about 1,000 construction jobs during the two-year building period and support 40 permanent jobs and 500 jobs at the Siemens operation in Lee County.
The Iowa Utilities Board earlier this year gave MidAmerican Energy Co. approval to install hundreds of wind turbines in Grundy, Madison, Marshall, O’Brien and Webster counties by the end of 2015.
At a Statehouse news conference, Gov. Terry Branstad called the MidAmerican investment the largest economic development project in the history of our state.
The wind turbine expansion will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 317,000 average Iowa households and will mean about 25 percent of Iowa’s energy portfolio will come from wind production, said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Since 2007, Siemens has made and shipped more than 9,000 turbine blades from the Fort Madison facility.
“This gives us a stable base for the next couple of years,” said Mark Albenze, chief executive officer of wind power Americas for Siemens Energy Inc.
The wind turbines each have a rotor diameter of 108 meters. Siemens will also be responsible for service and maintenance of the wind turbines.
Since 2004, Des Moines-based MidAmerican has installed 1,267 wind turbines in Iowa, representing a total investment of about $4 billion and making it the largest rate-regulated utility owner of wind generation in the United States.
MidAmerican provides electric service to 734,000 customers and natural gas to 714,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. The company currently owns and operates about 2,285 megawatts of wind generation capacity in Iowa.