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      Siemens continues to produce wind turbine blades

      Y ou look across the parking lot at the Siemens plant in Fort Madison and all you see are blades waiting to be shipped across the United States. Blades that will be attached to turbines that will in turn produce electricity. All in the name of producing green energy.

      Jim Jones has been with the Siemens Corporation for the last 11 years and he says a federal tax credit to business is helping grow the wind turbine industry.

      " The federal government created the production tax credit about 12 years ago to encourage businesses to invest in green energy and renewable energy. That's one of the things that a lot of our utilities, public utilities use to finance wind turbine projects ," said Jones.

      The company opened for business in Fort Madison back in 2007. And for the first year, the production was limited because new employees were being trained. But now, the company is running three shifts around the clock five days a week and their producing 48 blades a week. Something that has even surprised the company.

      " The demand for green energy went around the country in particular Iowa is a major center for it, for growth. They needed more and more and as our people are increasing their capabilities we're able to produce more blades and that's by the growth of the factory continues because the people just keep meeting the challenges over and over again ," Jones said.

      Fort Madison is the only factory in the U-S that produces the blades for the Siemens wind turbines. The blades measure 161 feet in length and weigh 11 tons. Once their installed on the turbine, the three blades measure about 300 feet in diameter.