Siemens, Mortenson, MidAmerican complete new wind turbine project in Iowa

Source: Mortenson Construction

Siemens Energy, Inc., Mortenson Construction, and MidAmerican Energy Company recently completed the expansion of MidAmerican Energy's wind project near Pomeroy, Iowa. Thirteen Siemens wind turbines were erected at the site, creating an additional 29.9 megawatts of generation capacity. The 13 units are the first of 258 wind turbines Siemens is providing and Mortenson Construction is erecting at three MidAmerican Energy wind projects in Iowa this year. 

In December 2010, at the conclusion of a competitive tender process, MidAmerican Energy and Siemens entered into a turbine supply agreement for 258 Siemens SWT-2.3-101 wind turbines, with an output of 2.3 megawatts each. The total project will add 593.4 megawatts to MidAmerican Energy's generation, which is enough capacity to power approximately 190,000 homes. The Pomeroy wind expansion project is located in Pocahontas and Calhoun counties, and the remaining 245 wind turbines will be erected in Cass, Adams, Adair and Marshall counties at MidAmerican Energy's Rolling Hills and Laurel wind projects by year-end. 

Siemens is supplying the turbines, as well as providing operation, maintenance and warranty service for the project. Mortenson Construction, based in Minneapolis, Minn., was selected through a separate competitive tender process by MidAmerican Energy to construct the wind projects and to install access roads, underground electrical collection systems and internal tower wiring. 

"The Pomeroy wind expansion project serves as another example of the strong commitment all three companies have to expanding the region's renewable energy capacity and the fast pace at which our organizations can bring projects to successful completion," said Jan Kjaersgaard, vice president and general manager of Siemens Energy's Wind Power Americas business. "Since 2007, when we first began operations at our Fort Madison, Iowa, blade manufacturing plant, we have delivered wind turbine blades made in Iowa for projects representing several thousand megawatts. MidAmerican Energy is to be commended for its focus on renewable energy. We are very pleased to be working with them on this and other projects." 

"MidAmerican Energy's new wind projects foster economic development in Iowa while demonstrating the company's commitment to environmental respect. Completion of the Pomeroy wind expansion project ensures additional renewable energy is available for our customers," said Bill Fehrman, president and CEO, MidAmerican Energy. "We also look forward to the completion of our Rolling Hills and Laurel wind projects in 2011. When our 593.4-megawatt expansion project is complete, approximately 26 percent of MidAmerican Energy's total owned generation capacity will come from wind resources." 

"We are delighted to partner with MidAmerican Energy and Siemens on three projects that will have such a significant impact on the local economy and wind industry in general," said Tim Maag, a vice president and general manager for Mortenson Construction's Renewable Energy Groups. "These projects in Iowa represent significant industry milestones for Mortenson Construction. Upon completion of the Laurel and Rolling Hills projects, Mortenson Construction will have built 16 projects in Iowa since constructing our very first wind facility in 1995." 

Siemens and MidAmerican Energy first came together on a wind power project in 2008, when Siemens was awarded the contract to supply 76 of its 2.3-megawatt wind turbines for the Adair wind project in Iowa. Mortenson Construction began working with MidAmerican Energy in 2005. 

MidAmerican Energy's other wind projects are located in Buena Vista, Carroll, Crawford, Floyd, Hamilton, Polk, Pottawattamie, Sac and Wright counties, totaling 1,284.3 megawatts of wind generation. MidAmerican Energy is No. 1 in the nation among rate-regulated utilities in terms of wind generation ownership. 

With a 600,000-square-foot wind turbine blade manufacturing factory located in Fort Madison, Iowa, Siemens' U.S. wind power operations currently include nine facilities. The company has operated the Fort Madison manufacturing plant for five years and is the largest employer in Fort Madison, with more than 700 people in green collar jobs at the facility. 

Siemens has made significant strides to grow its presence in the wind energy industry in the U.S. and now enjoys a No. 2 position in the market in terms of installed capacity. Since 2005, the company has installed wind turbines in the U.S., with a combined capacity of more than 4,200 megawatts, which is enough capacity to supply power to more than 1.25 million homes.

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