Turbines come to Kansas

German industrial giant Siemens announced this week that it intends to build a new production facility for wind turbines in the state of Kansas.

Initially, 400 new jobs are expected to be created in the plant, which will be located in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Construction of the 300,000-square-foot nacelle production facility is scheduled to begin in August 2009.

A nacelle is mounted on top of the tower and supports the rotor.

It houses a wind turbine’s major components for electric power generation, including the gearbox, the drive train and the control electronics.

The nacelles to be produced in Kansas will weigh 90 tons and the first nacelle is expected to be shipped in December 2010.

All nacelles produced in Hutchinson will be used in the company’s 2.3MW wind-turbine product range.

Initially, the factory’s planned annual output is approximately 650 nacelles.

‘Just two years ago we opened a rotor-blade manufacturing facility in Fort Madison, Iowa.

‘By expanding our investment in Kansas, we are strengthening our presence in the US and, at the same time, we are increasing the proximity to our US customers,’ said René Umlauft, chief executive officer of Siemens Energy’s Renewable Energy Division.

Siemens’s global wind-power business has grown from approximately 800 employees in 2004 to more than 5,500 today, which equals an increase of approximately 650 per cent.