Siemens to lay off 615 in Kansas, Iowa, Florida

A wind energy equipment manufacturer says it will lay off 615 workers in Iowa, Kansas and Florida in part because Congress has not renewed a tax credit for wind energy.

Siemens Energy Inc. says it told workers the news Tuesday.

More than 100 workers at the company’s Hutchinson plant face could face layoffs, although a firm number wasn’t immediately available.

The biggest job losses will come in Fort Madison, Iowa, where 407 workers at a wind turbine blade factory will be out of work. About 220 workers will be retained at the plant.

The company blamed difficult market conditions due to lack of congressional action on a wind energy tax credit as well as increased use of natural gas-fired power plants and an overall sluggish economy.

In a statement, Siemens says the industry is seeing a significant drop in new wind turbine orders.