The tallest wind turbine ever installed in the U.S. is currently being constructed in Iowa. It's also the first project in the country to feature a Siemens concrete wind turbine tower.
Construction is underway on MidAmerican Energy Company’s 154-MW Adams County wind farm. The project is on track to have all turbines erected by year’s end. The concrete turbine is one of the project’s planned 64 wind turbines.
Mike Gehringer, vice president of MidAmerican Energy’s renewable energy division, says the concrete tower will support the tallest land-based wind turbine ever built in the U.S., allowing it to capture wind energy at greater altitudes.
“Generally speaking, the higher the altitude, the greater the wind resources available,” said Gehringer.
Upon completion, the 2.3-MW concrete tower turbine will reach 554 feet into the air with its blades extended, standing about as tall as the Washington Monument. The tower measures 337 feet from ground to hub, while most other turbines at MidAmerican’s wind farms stand just 263 feet high.
“Advancements in turbine design and construction techniques are opening up new opportunities for development of renewable resources,” said Gehringer. “We want to continue to lead in bringing innovative energy solutions to our customers and the state of Iowa.”
Gehringer says the concrete tower is being built onsite with crews pouring the concrete in segments, as opposed to a conventional wind turbine tower, which is built in sections at a factory and transported to the project site for assembly.
“We’re proud to say that this patented Siemens tower technology was conceived, designed, engineered and constructed entirely in the United States,” said Michael McManus, head of business development and strategy for Siemens Americas Onshore Wind. “This project marks another milestone in our successful partnership with MidAmerican Energy to expand clean, renewable wind power in Iowa and continually drive down the cost of wind energy.”
Siemens sourced construction and the concrete formwork from a local Des Moines company while the turbines for the project were manufactured at Siemens blade factory in Ft. Madison, Iowa.