At a celebration today at Siemens’ Fort Madison, Iowa, wind blade manufacturing plant, I had the proud honor of confirming that the order we recently received from MidAmerican Energy for the supply of 448 wind turbines was the largest single order for onshore wind power awarded globally to date. In addition to supplying the turbines, Siemens will also provide service and maintenance.
We are very excited that MidAmerican Energy has again selected us to partner with them on their latest wind expansion project in Iowa, allowing us to continue to supply U.S.-made blades and nacelles. When the new projects are completed in 2015, Siemens and MidAmerican Energy will have provided more than 2.2 gigawatts of clean, wind-generated electricity in Iowa since 2008.
Several hundred people braved the winter weather to join the celebration and listen to Iowa Governor Terry Branstad talk about the importance of wind power to a clean energy future in Iowa. Also in attendance were Bill Fehrman, president and CEO, MidAmerican Energy; many of my colleagues, Tom Kiernan, CEO of American Wind Energy Association and several hundred employees, community members, landowners and local suppliers.
As the turbine supplier for all five projects, Siemens Energy’s Fort Madison 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. Construction activity is also underway at each of the other four project sites.
The size and magnitude of this order confirms wind power’s growing importance as part of balanced energy mix in Iowa and the U.S. In 2012, wind energy was, for the first time ever, the #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 with 42 percent of all new capacity. And since 2005, the wind industry has brought more than $105 billion of private investment into the economy.
Once complete, the new wind projects, which will consist of 448 wind turbines, will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 317,000 average Iowa households. And it wouldn’t be possible without the men and women of Siemens – our engineers, our sales and service teams, and our employees in Fort Madison, Iowa, and Hutchinson, Kansas, who manufacture the blades and nacelles.