Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) plans to lay off 200 workers at two U.S. wind power equipment manufacturing facilities. The company on Feb. 9 said the job cuts are due to a reduction in orders for commercial wind turbines.
An SGRE spokesperson said more jobs cuts at the plants—one in Hutchinson, Kansas, and the other in Fort Madison, Iowa—could be forthcoming.
SGRE has acknowledged “challenges” in its onshore wind power business, and on Feb. 2 announced that Jochen Eickholt, a member of the executive board at Siemens Energy, will be the new CEO for SGRE, replacing Andreas Nauen as of March 1. Nauen had taken over as CEO in June 2020.
Shannon Sturgil, CEO of Siemens Gamesa Onshore North America, in a statement about this week’s job cuts, said: “Two primary factors contributed to this decision. While the final ruling of the ITC on the recent patent challenge case brought by a competitor [GE] was ultimately in our favor, we were temporarily prevented from pursuing new orders during the determination period.
“Additionally, the renewables market in the United States has temporarily slowed in anticipation of the passing of the Build Back Better legislation. This impacts our ability to rebound quickly to normal levels of production in those facilities. These measures are designed to enable Siemens Gamesa to bridge the gap at its production facilities and prepare for when the market resumes its expected growth levels.”
The Kansas plant makes nacelles, the large box-like structures that house the generating components of the turbines. The Iowa plant manufactures wind turbine blades. After the cuts announced Wednesday, there are 117 workers at the Hutchinson plant, and 254 at the Fort Madison facility.
The company said all employees losing their jobs will receive a separation package, including severance pay, benefits continuation, career counseling, resume preparation, and job placement assistance. The company also said it remains committed to the U.S. renewable energy market, and its U.S. workforce, which numbers about 1,700.
—Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).