The power generation arm of German firm Siemens has made the first shipment of wind turbines from its new blade factory in Fort Madison, Iowa, US. The SWT-2.3-93 wind turbines are bound for the Sweetwater wind farm, west of Abilene, Texas.

Each blade is 148 feet long and weighs approximately 12 tons. The Sweetwater wind farm has a total capacity of over 500MW and is owned by Sweetwater Wind 5 LLC, which is jointly-owned by Babcock and Brown and Catamount Energy.

Siemens was awarded a contract for 35 of its SWT-2.3-93 turbine generators for a total of 80MW, as well as wind turbine supply and service, maintenance and warranty agreements at the new US plant. The turbines will be installed in the coming months, with planned commercial operation in December 2007.

By expanding our wind turbine blade manufacturing capacity in the US, we are able to play a more significant role in helping the US meet its growing electricity demand with clean wind energy and zero carbon emissions. We are looking forward to serving the growing wind energy in the US, which is expected to triple by 2020, said Randy Zwirn, president and CEO of Siemens Power Generation (Siemens PG).

With the US Department of Energy’s goal of obtaining 6% of US electricity from wind by 2020 and the growing public demand for clean energy, it is expected that wind energy will contribute an increasing amount of the US’s energy supply, Siemens PG revealed.