Fort Madison, Iowa, April 28, 2010 – Siemens hosted President Barack Obama for a tour and visit to its recently expanded 600,000-square foot wind turbine blade facility at Fort Madison, Iowa.
Obama toured the facility – seeing a blade for a 2.3 MW wind turbine in the process of manufacturing. He then addressed an audience of 300 employees, visitors and local representatives highlighting the Fort Madison plant as a successful example of how clean technology can help revive a local economy.
The Fort Madison plant is now just 3 years old. It was built on the site of a closed tractor-trailer manufacturing business, which, at its peak, had 250 employees.
The Siemens factory put out its first blade in 2007, expanded in 2008, and currently employs 600 people. The factory was a recent recipient of a $3.5 million tax credit from America’s Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2010, plus additional stimulus funds administered at the state level.
Siemens used this tax credit to secure additional blade molds and increase production of its next generation blade, which is designed to improve wind harvesting in low-wind conditions. The market success of this innovative technology will enable growth for the renewables market in the U.S. and has contributed to the Fort Madison plant’s ability to expand and nearly double employment.
Currently, the plant is operating at a capacity that could power more than 400,000 homes in one year with clean, renewable wind energy.
In addition to its investment in Fort Madison, Siemens started construction last fall on a new facility with 400 jobs in Hutchinson, Kansas, where it will build the structures that house the generating components for our wind turbines, and just last month announced a new gas turbine manufacturing facility that will be built at its site in Charlotte, North Carolina, where there will be another 825 new jobs created.
In its global green portfolio Siemens generated some $34 billion of revenue in 2009, making the company the world’s leader in environmental technologies. For example in power generation the company is developing other clean energy technologies in the areas, solar thermal power, clean coal and advanced gas turbines with efficiency rates of as much as 60 percent as well as efficiency improvements for getting more power out of existing plants.