Siemens selects new home for Canadian wind turbine blade manufacturing facility
By Mary Del
Siemens has selected Tillsonburg, Ont., for its Canadian wind turbine blade manufacturing site. The blade factory will be established in an existing 253,000-square-foot facility, located on 40 acres, that was originally opened in 1975. It’s the company’s first manufacturing plant for wind turbine components in Canada, and represents an investment in excess of $20 million. The manufacturing, service operations and associated back-office activities are expected to create up to 300 jobs. An additional 600 related jobs for the construction and commissioning are expected to be created during the build-out of the wind farms under agreement with Samsung and Pattern Energy.
This new manufacturing facility in Tillsonburg is intended to allow Siemens to help Samsung and Pattern Energy meet their contractual requirements to supply 600 MW of renewable energy to the province of Ontario. The factory is expected to produce all of the wind turbine blades for Siemens projects in the province.
Siemens currently has eight projects with a capacity of approximately 950 MW commissioned or underway in Ontario and Manitoba. Canada’s current installed capacity climbed by 40 percent to 3,549 MW in 2009 (enough electricity provided to power more than one million homes). Wind power capacity in Canada is expected to increase to more than 15,000 MW in 2020, and thus is projected to provide approximately 11 percent of the country’s total power generation.
Renovations to the Tillsonburg facility will begin later this month, with the facility expected to be production-ready in October 2011. The blades manufactured at the new facility will be for Siemens’ 2.3-MW wind turbines.
The site was selected for a number of reasons, such as excellent access to major highways and wide roads to transport the blades – which are up to 52 metres (170 feet) long.