Denver, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] This week, political leaders from Colorado joined representatives from Vestas at a press conference held at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Denver, Colorado. Against the backdrop of a 131-foot wind turbine blade produced at Vestas’ factory in Windsor, Colorado, the participants discussed the company’s expansion in the U.S. as well as public policy measures needed to further strengthen wind power’s role as a necessary and vital part of the nation’s energy future.
“Vestas has become an invaluable partner in Colorado’s New Energy Economy,” Colorado Governor Bill Ritter said. “Colorado would not be the national and international clean-energy leader we are today without Vestas. Colorado is eager to provide the 2,500 skilled employees Vestas will need for its facilities in Windsor, Brighton and Pueblo. Vestas’ commitment to and investment in Colorado truly demonstrates that we are well on our way to building a new energy future for our state and our country.”
Vestas pointed to a suite of long-term policies that are crucial for the U.S. to fully utilize its vast resources of clean, renewable wind energy and unleash job creation and economic activity. Policies discussed included a long-term tax credit package, a federal Renewable Energy Standard (RES), and a national climate policy. The company also stressed the immediate need for state and federal transmission expansion plans to meet the demands of consumers, a growing wind market and other energy generators.
On August 15, Vestas announced plans to increase its manufacturing presence in Colorado by establishing new blade and nacelle assembly factories in Brighton, Colorado. With the establishment of the blade factory and the nacelle assembly factory Vestas will have three factories in the pipeline for Colorado in addition to its existing blade factory in Windsor.
The factory in Windsor started production of wind turbine blades in early 2008, and will employ 650 people at full capacity. The company’s tower factory in Pueblo will be one of the largest in the world once fully operational by mid-2010, with a workforce of about 500 employees. The nacelle assembly factory, where the turbine housing containing the gearbox, generator and transformer is assembled, and the blade factory in Brighton are expected to reach full production by mid-2010, creating in total 1,350 new jobs.