A new Iowa blade factory will become the first US wind turbine production facility for Siemens Power Generation, a Florida-based division of the multinational German giant, Siemens AG. Siemens will take over an existing building on 127 acres in Fort Madison, near the Mississippi River. Production is to begin in the first half of next year. The company is investing more than $17 million in the project and will hire about 250 workers. Siemens is receiving public funding and tax incentives to open the plant. The central US location provides water, rail and road transportation. The blades will be for the company's 2.3 MW wind turbines. "We're seeing some new orders that we'll probably be announcing soon and the Iowa location will make things easier for every type of transportation," says Jil Shingledecker of Siemens. Siemens bought Danish wind turbine producer Bonus Energy in 2004 and has since expanded its manufacturing facilities in Denmark, while continuing to ratchet up its worldwide capabilities. No plans for additional North American production plants are in the company's immediate future.