Siemens’ large order of turbines helps Hutchinson

wind turbine

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — The Siemens Wind company said it likely will add 30 new jobs at its Hutchinson plant to accommodate an order for 64 of its 3.0-megawatt direct-drive turbines for a wind farm in North Dakota.

The blades for the Bison Wind Energy Center project will be manufactured at Siemens’ plant in Fort Madison, Iowa. Workers at the Hutchinson plant generally make the company’s 2.3 megawatt nacelles, but began making a few of the 3.0 direct-drive turbines last year, The Hutchinson News reported (http://bit.ly/1hxZG2P ). The nacelle holds the wind turbine’s generating components, such as the generator, gearbox, drive train, and brake assembly.

Not all of the 30 new employees will work directly on the new order, said Siemens spokeswoman Myca Welch. The plant currently has more than 330 employees.

Besides the Dakotas, officials at the Hutchinson plant previously reported smaller orders for units in Canada and Peru.

The order announced Tuesday is for a fourth phase of the Bison Wind Energy Center near New Salem, N.D. Siemens also supplied turbines for the first three phases. Installation of the turbines is scheduled to begin in mid-June 2014, and commercial operation is slated for December 2014, the company said in a news release.

The purchase by Minnesota Power is for D3 platform wind turbines, which are modified 3.0 MW turbines that, when combined with larger blades and higher towers, are able to produce 3.2 megawatts of power. The direct-drive turbines have half the moving parts of a conventional geared turbine and 180-foot long blades that generate more power at sites with just moderate wind conditions, according to Siemens’ website.

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Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, http://www.hutchnews.com

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