BY PCC STAFF
FORT MADISON – According to a Siemens Gamesa release Thursday morning, the plant has produced it’s first new blade after reconfiguring the facility to the new line earlier this year.
The facility celebrated the completion of the first blades for the SG 3.4-132 wind turbine in the U.S. at its blade manufacturing facility in Fort Madison Wednesday. The SG 3.4-132 is the first new product added to the existing production lines at the company’s U.S. facilities since the merger of Siemens Wind Power and Gamesa in April 2017.
The nacelle and hub for this turbine were assembled last month at SGRE’s nacelle plant in Hutchinson, Kansas. The wind turbine tower is sourced from a U.S.-based tower manufacturer.
According to the announcement, Fort Madison employees traveled to the company’s facilities in Somozas and Aoiz, Spain, for training on the new blade design of the SG 3.4-132 turbine. The 64-meter blades deploy a design where the components of the blades are cast in two segments and then glued into the shell pieces to produce a full blade. Teams from Spain and India joined the Fort Madison team to implement the new blade mold and production process and provide training support. Earlier this year, employees from Hutchinson, Kansas, traveled to the company’s nacelle assembly facility in Ágreda, Spain, where they learned the build process, tooling requirements and quality documentation needed to produce the SG 3.4-132.
“The global cooperation across the various teams demonstrates the synergies of two industry leaders – now united – and our commitment to offer best-in-class levelized cost of energy to U.S. wind power installations,” said Alfred Richter, VP of Operations in North America, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. “This milestone marks a major accomplishment for our facilities in Fort Madison and Hutchinson. Their ability to quickly learn new processes and apply their expertise to safely deliver a quality product to meet the demands of our customers is truly outstanding.”
As previously announced, the company’s two facilities were retooled to accommodate the updated product portfolio. These capital investments enabled the locations to expand their capabilities to meet varying market demands. Since opening, Fort Madison has produced nearly 16,500 blades and Hutchinson has assembled nearly 4,000 nacelles and hubs for various projects across North and South America.
The SG 3.4-132 wind turbine features an output of 3.465 megawatts and a rotor diameter of 132 meters, making it one of the most efficient and cost-effective solutions for medium wind sites.