August 26, 2008
Vestas Commends Colorado at Democratic National Convention in Denver
PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Major political leaders from Colorado joined Vestas at a press conference held today at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. Against the backdrop of a 131-foot wind turbine blade from Vestas' factory in Windsor, Colorado, the participants discussed the company's rapid expansion in the USA 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.
The press conference saw the participation of Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, U.S. Representatives Mark Udall and Ed Perlmutter, American Wind Energy Association Executive Director Randall Swisher, and Roby Roberts, Senior Vice President, External Relations, Vestas Americas. On August 15, 2008, Vestas, the world's largest manufacturer of wind turbines, announced plans to significantly increase its manufacturing presence in Colorado by establishing a new blade and a nacelle assembly factory in Brighton. Today, the company highlighted Colorado as a role model state and a demonstration of how vision and a favorable political framework can create thousands of local jobs and renewable energy leadership.With the establishment of a blade factory and a nacelle assembly factory in Brighton, Vestas will have three factories in the pipeline for Colorado in addition to the 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 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.
"Vestas has become an invaluable partner in Colorado's New Energy Economy," Governor 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."
At the press conference, Vestas pointed to a suite of long-term policies that are crucial for the USA to fully utilize the country's vast resources of clean, renewable wind energy and unleash job creation and economic activity. Policies include a long-term tax 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.
"The industry needs a stable, long-term political framework to continue growth, create additional jobs, strengthen supply chains and attract further U.S. and overseas investments in the American market for wind power," said Roby Roberts, Senior Vice President of External Relations at Vestas Americas A/S, the company's Portland, Oregon-headquartered sales and service business unit for North America. "Vestas has great faith in the American market. We strongly believe the USA will make energy security and climate change top tier issues, and wind power will be an essential part of the solution."
In addition to the four factories in Colorado, Vestas will establish a Technology and Production Engineering office at the Brighton facility, as well as a division of the Vestas Business Academy for the training and continuous development of employee skills. Parts of the sales and service business unit's Tools and Spare Parts functions will also move to the Brighton facility.
When adding the research center in Houston, Texas, Vestas Nacelles' newly established purchasing office in Chicago, Illinois, and the sales and service organization in the USA, Vestas expects to have a total workforce of over 4,000 employees in the USA by the end of 2010. More than 2,500 workers will be employed in Colorado. To Vestas' employment figures should be added additional jobs that will be created by European sub-suppliers establishing operations in the USA as a result of the increased demand for Vestas wind turbines. Vestas is a bipartisan company and is not endorsing any candidate for public office, but works with policy leaders who want to promote modern energy for the benefit of all.
With a 23 per cent global market share in 2007, Vestas is the world's leading supplier of modern energy solutions. The company's core business comprises the development, manufacture, sale and maintenance of wind technology that uses wind energy to generate electricity. Vestas has installed more than 35,500 wind turbines in 63 countries, and has a track record of installing more than 9,600 wind turbines on American soil.
CONTACT: Jens Soby, President of Vestas Americas A|S, +1-503-327-2000
Web site: http://www.vestas.com/