Orlando, FL - Joined by state and local government officials, customers and special guests, Siemens Energy formally inaugurated its new, state-of-the-art wind service training center in Orlando, Florida, USA. The event marks the official grand opening of the center that provides highly advanced technical and safety training for installation and service technicians working at wind energy projects located throughout the Americas region.
Florida Governor Rick Scott and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer joined Randy Zwirn, president and CEO of Siemens Energy, Inc. and CEO of the Energy Service Division, and Tim Holt, CEO of Siemens Energy Service Renewables, for the inauguration.
“Our investment in this new training facility underscores our strong commitment to supporting the long-term continued growth of the wind industry in the Americas region,” said Zwirn. “As renewable energy continues to grow as part of the world’s energy mix, our customers depend on us for highly skilled technicians who are committed to helping insure the long-term reliability of their assets. We would like to thank the State of Florida and the City of Orlando for their support.”
Governor Scott said, “The announcement that Siemens is adding 50 jobs in Orlando is more proof that the steps we are taking to create jobs in Florida are working. With nearly 370,000 private-sector jobs being created in the past two years, and our unemployment rate below the national average, it’s clear that Florida is headed in the right direction.”
“Siemens’ decision to locate the Wind Service Training Center in Orlando confirms their commitment to our community and furthers Orlando's reputation as a leader in the clean energy industry,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “Orlando was able to compete for this project in large part because of our well connected international airport and world renowned hospitality industry.”
The new $7 million facility is an important milestone for Siemens as the company’s wind service business continues to grow and the need for skilled technicians increases. Siemens currently provides service and maintenance for more than 3,000 installed turbines in the Americas region and 6,800 globally, with a combined generating capacity of 15 gigawatts (GW). As more wind energy projects come online in the U.S. and across the region, highly skilled technicians will be needed to provide the long-term service and maintenance required to help insure the turbines operate at peak production, availability and reliability levels. The new Orlando training center contributes to that long-term need, providing trainees with the industry’s highest level of safety training and equipping them with the advanced technical skills needed to service and maintain wind turbines. Siemens will also train the technicians who work on the installation of wind turbines in the Americas, with training specifically designed to address the installation process and related safety requirements. In addition, the advanced training at the center will be made available to technicians from Siemens’ wind power customers.
Built based on LEED Gold green-building standards, the new 40,000-square-foot building is located close to the global headquarters of Siemens’ Energy Service division and features the latest Siemens’ wind technologies which are used in the hands-on safety and technical training. Two full-size nacelles (the generator portion of a wind turbine), three 30-foot high climbing towers, ladder structures, electrical and hydraulic modules, and a service crane station are located within the center, making training, safety and rescue simulations as realistic as possible. A number of technologically equipped training labs and flexible space to accommodate varying class sizes are also available at the training center.
The new center will host more than 2,400 trainees annually from the U.S. and the Americas and is located close to Orlando International Airport, allowing for easy access for visiting technicians. Siemens committed to creating 50 new full-time jobs associated with the training center, and 49 have already been filled. Close to 25 percent of these positions are currently held by military veterans. Many of the unique logistical and technical skills, as well as the physicality and discipline, acquired during military service can be successfully transferred to this type of work. Over the last two years, Siemens has hired over 1,000 veterans across its U.S. businesses and is an active participant in the White House Joining Forces initiative as well as Still Serving Veterans to increase training and employment opportunities for returning service members.
In the past two years, Siemens global wind service business has grown from approximately 1,600 employees to well over 2,700 today, including more than 500 in the U.S., and those numbers are expected to increase as the industry matures.
The Orlando wind training center is one of four Siemens wind service training facilities globally, joining Brande, Denmark; Bremen, Germany; and Newcastle in the United Kingdom. All four training centers are certified by the Global Wind Organistion (GWO) as offering the industry’s highest level of safety training.
Additional information and photos of Siemens’ Orlando Wind Service Training Center can be found at: http://inr.synapticdigital.com/siemens/orlandowind/.