Wind Turbine Technicians From Throughout the Americas to Train in Orlando
September 19, 2013 | WMFE - Orlando is set to become a training ground for technicians who service wind turbines throughout the Americas. Siemens unveiled a new training facility in Orlando on Thursday.
[Photo: Dancers celebrate new training facility.]
The company unveiled the 40,000-square-foot training facility with a performance of dancers, some of them dressed as butterflies floating in the wind.
Inside the facility are two 100-ton nacelles, the hearts of wind turbines. There also are three 30-foot climbing towers where trainees will learn about safety.
Tim Holt oversees Siemens' wind and solar service activities worldwide.
"Just imagine you're on top of a 300-foot tower. Sun is beating. Wind is blowing. You look out, and you see the planes or if you're offshore you see the sea stretching to infinite."
The training facility is one of four in the world. It will prepare technicians to work on more than 3,000 wind turbines throughout the Americas.
More than 50 employees will work at the site, and Seimens expects to train more than 2,400 technicians a year.
Randy Zwirn is president and chief executive officer of Siemens Energy. He says wind is a growing energy sector even in Florida, where harnessing wind is not ideal.
"Hopefully even though we're not generating wind here there are additional benefits of that energy transformation that the country is experiencing that our local economy can benefit from. And I think this is one really good example."
Zwirn says wind farms in Florida would have to be located on the coasts, where they could be damaged by hurricanes.
He says Orlando is ideal for Siemens' new training facility because of its airport, hotels and central location for trainees who will be coming from throughout the Americas.
Siemens already employs 3,500 workers in Orlando at the company's headquarters for the Americas.