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Archive for Tuesday, September 8, 2009

State OKs bonds to build plant in Hutch

September 8, 2009

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— State leaders have approved $5 million in bonds for a proposed wind turbine manufacturing plant in Hutchinson.

“This is the first of what we hope will be a large number of renewable factories across the state,” said Gov. Mark Parkinson.

The State Finance Council, which includes Parkinson and legislative leaders, last week OK’d the deal with Germany-based Siemens Energy, which has selected Hutchinson for its first U.S. nacelle production factory.

The nacelle is the structure that contains the electricity-generating components, including the gearbox and drive train. Siemens has a wind turbine blade manufacturing plant in Iowa.

The project will be the first major wind turbine factory in Kansas.

The facility is expected to cost $55 million to $65 million and will include a 300,000-square-foot manufacturing plant, and an adjacent 80,000-square-foot service and repair facility. Siemens said it will employ an estimated 400 people.

Under the deal, the bonds will be paid off by using the state’s share of withholding taxes of the facility’s employees over approximately 18 years, according to Kansas Department of Commerce Secretary David Kerr.

A groundbreaking is expected this month and the first 90-ton nacelle is expected to be shipped from the factory in December 2010, according to Siemens.

Siemens officials said the Hutchinson facility will allow the company to better meet the demand for wind turbines.

“The United States already is and will continue to be one of the world’s fastest-growing wind energy markets. We are thus intensifying our commitment to this green technology to further expand our leading global position in this field,” said Peter Loscher, chief executive officer of Siemens.

Comments

George_Braziller 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm happy about this as well but I'd like to make a small correction -- Hutch isn't "out west" -- it's about as close to the center of the state as you can get.

The Smokey Hill River Valley area surpasses the Flint Hills on the "pretty scale." It is much more intimate and has to be explored rather than just viewed.

lounger (Anonymous) says… This is good. Use common sense and dont visually pollute the pretty parts of Kansas (the flint hills). Out west they could be on the cutting edge of wind. HOw exciting this is!

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ralphralph 4 years, 7 months ago

Ooooh! Yick! Won't it be all messy?

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terrapin2 4 years, 7 months ago

Yep, it's awesome! We just drove I-70W out through Colorado this past weekend and saw the Smokey Hills Wind Farm along the North edge of I-70, just past Salina. We drove past it at sunset amidst dark storm clouds and huge bolts of lightning that briefly illuminated the towers and blades as they spun swiftly in the strong wind! It really was quite a spectacular sight to see! I think there should be many more of them throughout Kansas where there is plenty of wide-open space and the wind they need!

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lounger 4 years, 7 months ago

This is good. Use common sense and dont visually pollute the pretty parts of Kansas (the flint hills). Out west they could be on the cutting edge of wind. HOw exciting this is!

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RogueThrill 4 years, 7 months ago

Here's to seeing a sea of windmills the next time I drive west on 70.

And here's to them being built in Kansas.

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