Towers A Tall Order For Wisconsin Factory

Since 2004, Broadwind Energy has manufactured more than 1,000 towers for wind industry leaders like Clipper Wind Power, Gamesa Wind US, Nordex and Vestas at its factory in Manitowoc, Wis. Lately, the company has moved toward specializing in larger towers for multi-megawatt turbines, and is one of the first U.S. companies to produce 100-meter towers.

The taller towers have been selected by Siemens for the expansion of its MidAmerican Energy wind project in Iowa, and will support Siemens’ large 2.3-megawatt (MW) turbines, which have a rotor diameter of 331 feet – longer than a football field. Broadwind will supply 36 towers for the project, and Siemens has also signed an option for an additional 25 towers. The towers will be the first the company has supplied for Siemens.

broadwind-energy-tower

image via Broadwind Energy

Siemens and Mortenson Construction recently completed the expansion of MidAmerican Energy’s wind-power plant near Pomeroy, the first phase of a larger expansion project that will ultimately add 258 wind turbines to three MidAmerican projects in the state this year. The remaining 245 turbines will be erected at MidAmerican’s Rolling Hills and Laurel wind plants by year-end. After the expansion, the three-plant project will have a combined capacity of 593.4 MW, enough to power about 190,000 homes.

According to Kevin Hazel, VP of supply chain management for Siemens Energy’s Wind Power Americas business, “Broadwind’s capacity and location, coupled with extensive experience fabricating taller and heavier towers, made them an ideal partner for Siemens in Iowa.” Broadwind will deliver the towers to Siemens during the second and third quarters of 2012.

Lauren Craig is a writer and consultant living in Seattle, WA. She holds an M.S. in International Development from Tulane University, and is co-founder of Sustainable Systems Integrators, LLC., an employee-owned solar energy design and installation firm in New Orleans, LA. She is also certified in PV design and installation by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).