Siemens Gamesa slashes jobs at US blade factory

Siemens Gamesa reduces headcount at Iowa plant and discontinues blades for older turbines

Former US president Barack Obama visiting the Fort Madison plant in 2010

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has laid off approximately 130 workers from its blade factory in Iowa as it adapts to an increasingly merchant US wind power sector and faces legal issues in the market.

The manufacturer plans to stop production of various older onshore turbine blades at its Fort Madison plant, the manufacturer told Windpower Monthly. However, it would not confirm which blades it would cease making.

Siemens Gamesa informed employees of the job cuts yesterday (14 September).

Affected workers will leave at various times during a 60-day notice period but will continue to be paid during that time, SGRE told Windpower Monthly.

The job cuts will impact about a quarter of staff at the Iowa blade factory, leaving about 430 employees.

In a statement, SGRE explained: “We do not take this decision lightly, but we must adapt to the demands of the market and meet our customers’ needs in an ever-changing environment.”

With the impending phase-out of the production tax credit (PTC) subsidy, wind power in the United States will increasingly be driven by its cost-competitiveness – pushing the need for more powerful, more efficient turbines.

Siemens Gamesa is also being sued by GE Renewable Energy, as the US firm attempts to block it from the US market.

The Spanish-German manufacturer said that it “remains firmly committed to the long-term viability of the US wind market and continues to have a strong presence in manufacturing, maintenance, R&D, sales and other functions”.

It has installed nearly 22GW of onshore wind turbines in the US.