Siemens plans to build a new production facility for wind turbines in Hutchinson, Kan. Construction of the 300,000-square-foot nacelle production facility is scheduled to begin in August 2009. As a result, 400 new jobs are expected to be created. A nacelle is mounted on top of the tower and supports the rotor. It houses a wind turbine’s major components for electric-power generation, including the gearbox, drive train and control electronics. The nacelles, which will weigh 90 tons, will be used in Siemens’ 2.3-MW wind-turbine product family. The factory’s initial planned annual output is approximately 650 nacelles, or 1,500 megawatts.

Danish company Vestas Wind Systems is planning on building six wind-turbine factories in Colorado and a research center in Houston, Texas, that could create 4,000 jobs by the end of 2010. Vestas has already hired 650 workers at its blade factory in Windsor, Colo., and is recruiting 500 for tower factory in Pueblo, Colo. The company is laying off workers in Europe and shifting production to the United States to compete with General Electric Co. and Siemens.