HUTCHINSON – Renewable energy company Siemens Gamesa will shut down its Hutchinson nacelle facility indefinitely to address what it says are ongoing generation demand challenges for the U.S. onshore wind market, according to a statement from hurry.
The plant will close at the end of the month and the shutdown will continue until July 31. The shutdown also affects the Fort. Madison, Iowa Blade Factory. In February, the company announced layoffs involving 69 employees in Hutchinson and 121 in Iowa.
Employees at both facilities will be released from their jobs during this time. All affected employees will receive a comprehensive departure package, which includes severance pay, continuation of benefits, career advice, resume preparation and job placement assistance. The closure affects 92 workers at the Hutchinson plant.
“Hibernating our manufacturing and assembly facilities is an unfortunate but necessary step to address the current challenges in the U.S. onshore wind market,” said Shannon Sturgil, CEO of Onshore North America. “We continue to pursue new orders and remain fully committed to finding a path to support our Fort Madison and Hutchinson manufacturing facilities.”
Siemens Gamesa faced a patent challenge against features of its onshore wind turbines in 2021 by a competitor. While the International Trade Commission ultimately ruled in favor of Siemens Gamesa, the company was unable to pursue orders during this time. Since then, the US onshore wind market has slowed in anticipation of new climate legislation and accompanying renewable energy incentives. Combined with long lead times for wind projects, these factors have resulted in a “production gap” in 2022.
“Our employees have remained professional and engaged throughout this challenging time in the U.S. onshore wind market, and I want to thank them for their dedication,” Sturgil said. “The hibernation of the two facilities in no way reflects the excellent work carried out by the teams on these sites. We explored many options to address the current shortfall and ultimately found the hibernation plan to be the most viable option for the long-term success of our US manufacturing and assembly plants.
The hibernation of the two facilities will have no impact on Siemens Gamesa’s delivery of current onshore contracts and is unrelated to the company’s offshore wind business, including the further development of Coastal Virginia Offshore commercial project agreements. Wind.
Since the facility opened in 2010, workers at the Siemens Gamesa factory in Hutchinson have produced approximately 5,500 nacelles, which sit atop the wind tower, supporting the rotor and housing components for production of electricity.