HUTCHINSON, Kan. — A Spanish renewable energy company’s plant in central Kansas is upping its capacity to manufacture wind turbines.
The Siemens Gamesa plant in Hutchinson could primarily make one type of turbine three years ago, but the plant soon will be producing five, the Hutchinson News reported.
Danilo Bezerra, the plant’s manager, said the company’s newest product, a 4.5-megawatt wind turbine nacelle, will go into full production by spring 2020.
The newest turbine is larger and about 50 percent more complex than their other turbine offerings so it’ll take longer to build, Bezerra said. It’s also so heavy that the plant has to manufacture and ship the turbine in several parts, rather than assemble it as a single unit like the plant’s 2.3-megawatt wind turbine.
The plant expects to add between 30 and 35 new workers once the new turbine goes into production, adding to the manufacturing line’s 280 full-time workers.
“Next year, we’ll definitely be above 300,” Bezerra said.
The plant has grown to operate three manufacturing lines, which collectively produce five types of wind turbines. “We’re proving Hutchinson has the capacity, the ingenuity, and all the competency to build what our customers need.”
Up to 10 employees from the plant will travel to Siemens Gamesa’s headquarters in Spain this month to learn about the company’s newest and largest onshore wind turbine. Staff from the headquarters will then travel to Kansas to train others on the Hutchinson line.