To adjust capacity to market demand for wind turbine orders in 2013, Vestas has reduced its manufacturing workforce at its blade factories in Windsor and Brighton, CO. This workforce reduction represents about 10% of Vestas’ 1,100 manufacturing employees in the state.
All remaining hourly production workers at the two blade factories will move back to 40-hour work weeks effective Monday, February 25, 2013. Consequently, Vestas also will discontinue its participation in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment work-share program on February 22, where its hourly employees were temporarily working 32-hour work weeks.
The announcement does not impact employees at the Vestas nacelle factory in Brighton, CO, or the tower factory in Pueblo, CO. On January 16, 2013, officials from Vestas announced an agreement to supply towers for third parties for North America wind power projects. Vestas plans to add more than 100 jobs in Pueblo by the end of the first quarter of 2013.
Vestas officials 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 4GW to 5GW worldwide this year and to employ no more than 16,000 people globally by the end of 2013.
In the past five years, Vestas has made a big investment in Colorado to establish a regional manufacturing presence that created many American jobs during an economic recession. Vestas’ four Colorado factories will continue to manufacture wind turbine components for the U.S. market, as well as export to Canada and Latin America.
Vestas has adopted a flexible business strategy in the U.S. and Canada during a period of changing market dynamics in the wind industry. Vestas will continue to scale up or down depending on business needs and market demands.