Siemens has officially shipped its first ‘made-in-Canada’ wind turbine blade from its manufacturing facility in Tillsonburg, Ontario. After a send-off from employees, who have proudly crafted the piece by hand, the 49 metre blade left the plant and made its way along area highways en route to the region of Chatham-Kent where it will be used in the commissioning of the South Kent Wind project.
The production of the first blade marks a Canadian milestone for Siemens, specifically in Ontario, where the company has made significant investments in recent years, including the establishment of the Tillsonburg facility in 2010. This commitment to the province was further strengthened by the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Siemens and the Ontario government in 2011.
The blade production ramp-up also highlights the positive impact the Green Energy Investment Agreement (GEIA) has made on manufacturing in Ontario. The 253,000-sq.-ft. Tillsonburg plant was a former Magna International location that originally opened in 1975 and had been vacant since 2008. The building was overhauled in 2010 by Siemens to set up its now bustling home of turbine blade production currently housing more than 200 employees.
In addition to manufacturing, Siemens has also established its first Canadian wind turbine service and maintenance distribution centre in Chatham, Ontario in order to enhance its proximity to its installed base, including the service of the South Kent Wind project. This first blade is one of 372 blades to be employed in the commissioning of 124 SWT-2.3-101 wind turbines at South Kent Wind as part of the 270-MW agreement between Siemens and Samsung Renewable Energy Inc. (Samsung) and Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern).
“There’s a real energy and sense of pride among our employees to see the first blade leave the plant. We’re pleased to be supplying Ontario-made wind turbine blades for Ontario Wind projects. We look forward to helping bring renewable energy to homes in the province, new jobs to Canadians and continued investment and economic development to our communities.”– Jacob Andersen, Vice President Wind Power, Siemens Canada Limited
“I’m proud to congratulate the hundreds of Siemens Canada employees in Tillsonburg who made this milestone possible. It’s clear that renewable energy is cleaning up Ontario’s air and creating good, local jobs.”– The Honourable Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy, Ontario
“The Town of Tillsonburg is very proud to be the home to Siemens Canada wind turbine manufacturing facility. We congratulate Siemens Canada and are grateful for the numerous jobs this facility is providing to Tillsonburg and area. This was a huge undertaking and all employees are to be congratulated in bringing this to reality. It’s very exciting for all of us.”– The Honourable John Lessif, Mayor of the Town of Tillsonburg, Ontario