Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems A/S reported on Feb. 22 that it has reduced its manufacturing workforce at its blade factories in Windsor and Brighton, Colo. USA. The workforce reduction represents about 10 percent of Vestas’ 1,100 manufacturing employees in the state. Vestas says it regrets to have to lay off highly skilled employees, yet the dismissals are necessary in order to adjust manufacturing capacity to the expected market demand for wind turbines in 2013.
The announcement does not impact employees at the Vestas nacelle factory in Brighton, Colo., or the tower factory in Pueblo, Colo. On Jan. 16, Vestas announced an agreement to supply towers for third parties for wind power projects in North America. As a result of the increased activity, Vestas plans to add more than 100 jobs at the tower factory in Pueblo by the end of the first quarter of 2013.
Vestas says the recent extension of the American support scheme for renewable electricity, the Production Tax Credit (PTC), does not affect Vestas’ market projections for 2013: Vestas still expects to deliver between 4 and 5 GW worldwide this year and to employ no more than 16,000 people globally by the end of 2013. Due to the time it takes from when an order is placed to when the project begins, Vestas knew the late timing of the PTC extension would result in a significant reduction in 2013 installations relative to previous years. However, the U.S. market will nonetheless be stronger as a result of the renewed PTC.