MidAmerican hires Ft. Madison plant to make wind turbine blades

Written by Amie Steffeneicher, Internet Director - email

FT. MADISON (KWWL) -MidAmerican Energy officials say they have contracted with an Iowa wind turbine blade factory to make all the blades for 448 wind turbines the company is installing in Iowa.

Adam Wright, vice president of wind generation for MidAmerican, says about 500 workers at the Siemens Energy plant in Fort Madison will keep busy for at least the next 10 months making turbine blades for the wind expansion project.

The CEO of Siemens Energy’s wind division Mark Albenze says the MidAmerican order is the largest onshore wind turbine order in the world. It will help secure the jobs at Fort Madison and in a Hutchinson, Kan., plant where the wind turbines are made.

In a statement Monday, U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack said he was “thrilled” with the news.

“I am thrilled with today’s announcement by Siemens and MidAmerican that Iowa will expand its leadership in wind energy production,” Loebsack said. “This announcement means jobs for our highly skilled workforce, and demonstrates the continued strengthening and competitiveness of Iowa manufacturing.

“It also means continuing investment in Iowa’s clean energy infrastructure,” he added. “This is what encouraging our homegrown energy and the Production Tax Credit are all about – jobs and clean, renewable energy sources.”

U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley praised MidAmerican’s decision and said Congress must renew the wind energy tax cut to keep the wind industry growing.

“Wind energy is truly Iowa homegrown energy, and today’s announcement by MidAmerican Energy again shows its job-creating potential,” Braley said. “Yet Washington fails to take notice. This growing Iowa industry is threatened because Congress failed to quickly renew the wind production tax credit before it expires at the end of the year.

“To provide certainty and stability in the industry — and to promote job growth — Congress needs to immediately renew this tax cut when it returns in January,” Braley added.

The Iowa Utilities Board in August approved MidAmerican’s $1.9 billion wind expansion project.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


Iowa Fertilizer makes First Corporate Donation to Fort Madison Area United Way


Iowa Fertilizer makes First Corporate Donation to Fort Madison Area United Way

JAN. 7, 2014 (Fort Madison, Iowa)- Iowa Fertilizer made its first corporate donation to the Fort Madison Area United Way. Iowa Fertilizer employees pledged $3,210 through payroll deductions and cash donations. The company matched the employee contributions for a total donation of $6,420 to the United Way.

This donation is reflective of the voluntary giving of Iowa Fertilizer employees. Iowa Fertilizer is a $1.8 billion project that will create more than 2,500 construction jobs and employ more than 165 permanent employees when construction is complete in late 2015.

“As it is the season of giving, Iowa Fertilizer is very happy to make this contribution to the Fort Madison Area United Way to aid its efforts to support those in need in our community,” said Shawn Rana, President of Iowa Fertilizer. “Southeast Iowa is home to our employees and their families. Donations to area organizations directly benefit our neighbors and that is important to us.”

“Without donations from organizations, such as Iowa Fertilizer, the United Way would not be able to serve those in need in our community.  We look forward to a growing partnership with Iowa Fertilizer in the years to come,” said Fort Madison Area United Way Executive Director Sarah Crabtree.

The Fort Madison Area United Way is focused on supporting the education, financial stability and health of Fort Madison and our surrounding communities. Donations to the Fort Madison Area United Way have recently supported hundreds of families in need of shelter and employment, community activities for children, coupons for the winterization of homes and local news sources for the hearing impaired.