} Vestas to consolidate Colorado footprint, reflects lower near-term market demand | CompositesWorld
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Vestas to consolidate Colorado footprint, reflects lower near-term market demand

Blades production consolidation across three Colorado facilities to strengthen Vestas’ Service and Construction setup and improve execution efficiency.
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Vestas'  Brighton blade factory.

Vestas' Brighton blade factory. Photo Credit: Vestas

Following several years of peaking demand cycles, Vestas – American Wind Technology (Portland, Oregon, U.S.) reported on Feb. 17 that it is consolidating its footprint in Colorado, in order to reflect lower near-term market demand, strengthen its Service and Construction setup and improve execution efficiency.

With the consolidation, Vestas is supporting growing business segments and ensuring the foundation for efficient adjustments and scale-up when demand increases again. The consolidation entails lower manufacturing capacity, which unfortunately involves reducing headcount by approximately 450 colleagues in total across three Colorado-based factories. Out of the 450 colleagues, Vestas expects to offer new roles in other parts of the business to approximately 150 impacted colleagues.

Concretely, Vestas will consolidate blades production to the Windsor Blades factory and repurpose the Brighton Blades site into a North American headquarters for the Global Tooling business, consolidating from six dispersed, smaller locations. This entails ending blades production at the Brighton Blades factory, which unfortunately means laying off approximately 280 colleagues. Additionally, Vestas will reduce headcount at the Pueblo Towers factory and Brighton Nacelles factories by a total of approximately 170 colleagues.

“The wind energy industry in the U.S. has grown tremendously in recent years, which has increased our factories’ capacity and expanded our service business,” says Tommy Rahbeck Nielsen, Vestas’ COO. “With a larger fleet under service and lower demand in the near-term, we are therefore consolidating our setup in Colorado to ensure we can cater for our service business’ needs, and are structured in the right way to ramp up efficiently once wind turbine demand requires us to. We have set initiatives in motion to make sure as many as possible of the 450 colleagues from our factories can move to other parts of our operations, but unfortunately, we still have to say goodbye to some.”

To protect jobs and ensure a continued strong Vestas footprint in Colorado, Vestas will support the impacted colleagues, pending eligibility, in transitioning to other roles in growing parts of the organization such as the Service business which supports the lifetime operations and maintenance of wind park assets.

According to Vestas, the U.S. remains one of the world’s largest markets for wind energy and by keeping four sites in Colorado, Vestas is ensuring a continued strong foundation in North America that will enable future adjustments and efficient scale-up when demand increases again. Following this announcement Vestas reports that it employs more than 29,000 colleagues globally, of which around 4,500 are employed in the U.S. The consolidation and headcount reductions follow an announcement in August 2020 that production of V136 blades would cease at the factory due to reduced demand for that variant.

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