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Winergy Drive Systems and Siemens Drive Technologies have officially opened a second plant producing wind turbine gear drives in Elgin, Illinois. The new 170,000 square foot plant (expandable up to 330,000 square feet) was built at a cost of more than $20 million and makes it possible for Winergy to maintain its position as the largest manufacturer of wind turbine gear drives in the United States and to help satisfy the ever increasing demand for renewable energy alternatives.
The city of Elgin, with a population of just over 100,000 people, will benefit from the creation of an estimated 55 office jobs and 300 production jobs over the next three to four years. This will more the double the company’s current staff size in Elgin.
The plant, one of the first in Illinois to receive environmental LEED certification, was built using recycled steel and designed with Siemens energy efficient lighting and heating and cooling systems, which are expected to save $500,000 annually in energy costs and reduce annual water use by 250,000 gallons.
“This facility is a great example of how sustainability has helped transition a traditional industry into a newer, greener one — increasing production, creating ‘green’ jobs and reducing its environmental footprint,” noted Parthiv Amin, president of Winergy Drive Systems Corp. “It is also a fine example of the company’s commitment to providing technologies that are produced in an environmentally responsible manner and promote energy efficiency.”
“I salute Siemens and Winergy for the investment in clean, renewable energy and for providing green jobs in our state,” said Illinois Governor Quinn. “Together we are taking another step to make Illinois more sustainable through alternative energy sources such as wind power.”
“I am proud Winergy and Siemens are here in Elgin. They will create good, high-tech jobs and help grow our economy for years to come,” said U.S. Congressman Bill Foster, Illinois 14th District. “This is exactly the kind of growth and success we need to stay competitive globally, and I look forward to continuing the pursuit of solutions that will ensure long-term economic prosperity for the 14th District.”
Elgin’s Mayor Ed Schock, commented, “Winergy and Siemens are providing important ‘green’ jobs to our area as business and industry shift toward conservation and renewable energy models. The city of Elgin can provide skilled workers for these jobs while also ensuring the right policies and procedures are in place to provide for smart growth and sustainable development.”
The state of Illinois and the city of Elgin provided a number of incentives to Siemens to help secure the investment including a Wind Energy Development Grant and Employer Training Investment Program job training funds.
Siemens invested more than $20 million to build the infrastructure needed to equip the new plant for production. The new plant will be used for the assembly and testing of mechanical gear drives. The existing plant will be maintained to manufacture the gears and components that will be assembled and tested in the new plant. It will also house the services and repairs business.
Winergy is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of drivetrains, including gearboxes, couplings, generators and inverters, for the wind industry.
Siemens is a leading provider of efficient infrastructure solutions, and has one of the largest environmental portfolios today. In FY2008, revenue generated from its environmental portfolio represented around one quarter of the company’s total revenue.
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