Siouxland loses wind turbine factory to Kansas

A new wind turbine production plant will be built in Kansas, not along the Nebraska/Iowa border. Officials with Siemens Energy have selected Hutchinson, Kansas over Sioux City, Iowa, for the factory and its 400 jobs.
Sioux City economic development director Marty Dougherty says it sounds like Siemens wanted a location in the central U-S. “We know from working with them for almost a year that we had the kind of incentive package and the kind of site they wanted…we met all the requirements,” Dougherty said. “But, in this particular case, they made a decision based on geography.”
Last month, nearly 5,000 residents of the Siouxland region submitted responses to a labor survey as city leaders sought to ease the company’s concerns about the available labor pool. Dougherty says that data won’t go to waste.
“We will use that information with the other companies that we’re dealing with,” Dougherty said. “It’s a very positive indicator of the workforce that we have here in Sioux City and the metro area.”
Construction on the facility in Reno County, Kansas is scheduled to begin in August. Dougherty says Sioux City worked closely with the state to create tax credits and incentives for Siemens – and that work could pay off down the road.
“We’ve positioned ourselves very well and gotten ourselves on the map,” Dougherty said. “We’re continuing to get a lot of interest and leads from other wind energy companies, so we’re very ecouraged by that.”
Iowa has nine wind turbine manufacturing plants that employ 2,300 people. Reports say Iowa offered the company up to $2-million in tax credits to locate here but Kansas evidently offered up to $5-million in bonds.
Thanks to Josie Cooper, KSCJ, Sioux City