Written By: Emma Websdale
Siemens has obtained the largest single onshore wind-power order in the world to build 448 wind turbines with a total capacity of 1,050 megawatts (MW) for U.S. energy company MidAmerican Energy.
The wind turbines, each with a rating of 2.3 MW and a rotor diameter of 108 meters, will be installed at five different energy plants across Iowa by 2015. Combined, these projects will produce enough clean energy to power over 660,000 American households.
To date, Siemens has installed 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of wind-power capacity for MidAmerican Energy and gets 43% of its total revenue from green technologies and solutions.
The company’s announcement was made yesterday at Siemens’ blade manufacturing facility in Fort Madison, Iowa, which will become the base of operations for the turbine’s blade production. The turbine’s nacelles and hubs will be assembled at the Siemens plant in Hutchinson, Kansas. Once developed, the German engineering firm will be responsible for the service and maintenance of the wind turbines.
Currently, Iowa is one of the leading states in wind energy generation—in 2012, wind accounted for 24% of total power generation in the state. According to a new report by Environment Iowa, the state’s wind-energy generation avoids 8.4 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and saves nearly 3.8 billion gallons of water a year.
“Iowa is a leader in wind generation, and I welcome the opportunity to expand renewable energy in our great state”, says Iowa Governor Terry 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.”
He adds, “Together, [MidAmerican Energy and Siemens] continue to benefit Iowa’s economy and demonstrate the state’s commitment to renewable energy.”
In 2012, for the first time, wind energy was the number one source of new electricity generation capacity in the United States. Primarily responsible for this growth was a $25-billion private investment added to the U.S. economy for new wind farm construction.
According to the International Energy Association’s Wind Power Technology Roadmap, global wind-power generation has more than doubled since 2008 and is currently approaching 300 gigawatts (GW), with current investment in the industry hovering around the $80 million mark.