Siemens wind turbine plant wins big order

Siemens, which just opened a wind turbine plant in Hutchinson, has won its largest on-shore contract.

MidAmerican Energy Co. has ordered 258 2.3-megawatt turbines for windfarms in Iowa.

The order constitutes about a third of the Hutchinson plant's planned output in 2011. The first turbine will be delivered in the second quarter and the last in early 2012.

Since 2005, Siemens has expanded its wind energy facilities in the U.S. and is on track to become No. 2 in the market. In addition to the 300,000-square-foot nacelle assembly plant in Hutchinson, in 2007 Siemens opened and subsequently expanded a 600,000-square-foot wind turbine blade manufacturing plant in Fort Madison, Iowa.

Other Siemens wind power operations in the U.S. include a Houston-based wind turbine service operation, a research and development center in Boulder, Colo., two gearbox factories in Elgin, Ill., and the company's Americas headquarters in Orlando, Fla.

The company's wind energy subsidiary employs nearly 1,500 in the U.S.