Congress inaction on wind energy leads to 110 job cuts at Vestas
DENVER — Vestas Wind Systems announced Thursday morning it was reducing its workforce by 10 percent, cutting about 110 jobs at blade factories in Windsor and Brighton, due to uncertainty in the market for wind turbines caused by Congress’s delay last year in extending a Production Tax Credit for the industry.
The wind energy PTC was finally extended at the end of last year; but the refusal by Republicans in Congress to allow that extension until after the presidential election because Mitt Romney opposed it has led to a reduction in wind turbine orders.
“We are disappointed that we must lay off many of our highly skilled employees,” the company said in a release.
“Vestas knew the late timing of the federal production tax credit (PTC) extension would result in a significant reduction in 2013 installations relative to previous years, due to the time it takes from when an order is placed to when the project begins. However, the U.S. market will nonetheless be stronger as a result of the PTC extension.
“We are confident that orders will be placed and delivered from our U.S. factories. The extension of the PTC did not affect our projections to deliver between 4 to 5 GW worldwide this year and to employ no more than 16,000 people globally by the end of 2013.”
In the last year, Vestas has reduced its workforce in Colorado from 1,700 workers to 1,100.
Vestas also announced Thursday that it plans to add 100 jobs at its Pueblo plant later this year.