Layoffs announced at Iowa wind turbine plant

AP • Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013

WEST BRANCH, Iowa (AP) – An international renewable energy company is laying off 40 workers at its wind turbine plant in eastern Iowa.

Acciona announced Monday that a reduction at its West Branch facility was necessary because of a sharp decline in U.S. wind development over the past year.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen (http://bit.ly/13PIVfx ) says the company laid off nearly 60 employees at the same facility about four years ago. Officials at the time called it a short-term issue.

The newspaper reports Iowa has about 6,000 jobs in the wind energy industry. But some experts say a spar last year between federal lawmakers over whether to extend a wind energy tax credit hurt the industry. The tax break was later extended.

Acciona is a subsidiary of the Acciona group, a company headquartered in Spain.