Colorado, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Vestas held a ground-breaking ceremony this week for its two new manufacturing facilities – a nacelle assembly factory and blade factory – in Brighton, Colorado. The Brighton factories are part of the manufacturing and research base Vestas is establishing in the U.S.
Once the factories are fully operational in 2010, they will create about 1,350 jobs in Brighton. Vestas’ investment in Brighton will total about US $300 million, and will secure an annual production capacity of 2,000 blades and 1,400 nacelles.
“From an outbound logistics perspective, Colorado offers a highly central location for the transportation of wind turbine components to customers in North America,” says Søren Husted, president of Vestas Nacelles. “At the same time, Vestas is enhancing its U.S. supply chain, and location plays a key role in securing efficient inbound logistics to the factories.”
His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Denmark and Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess of Denmark participated at the event. The Royal Couple is visiting the U.S. to place focus on the close cultural and historical ties between Denmark and the U.S. as well as on renewable energy and energy efficiency.
For the first time, over 50% of components for wind power projects were made in the U.S. in 2008, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The U.S. broke all previous records in 2008 by installing 8,358 megawatts of new wind capacity, representing an investment of $17 billion and bringing the number of people employed in the wind industry to 85,000. Vestas currently has a workforce of over 1,800 in the U.S. and Canada, and the number is expected to grow to 4,000 workers in the U.S. alone by the end of 2010.