1:54pm

Thu October 11, 2012
Politics

As Vestas Cuts Jobs, Bennet And Udall Urge Extension Of Wind Tax Credit [Updated]

Colorado’s Democratic Senators issued statements Thursday urging congress to extend the Wind Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and avert more job losses for Colorado’s wind energy sector.

Update 10/11 3:05 PM- In a statement released by Vestas Wind Systems this afternoon,  the company announced additional job cuts at its Windsor blade manufacturing facility:

"...This week Vestas reduced its manufacturing workforce at two blade factories in Colorado. This workforce reduction includes employees at Vestas’ Brighton and Windsor facilities. This is a difficult decision because we must part with many dedicated and talented people in Colorado who have helped make Vestas the global leader in wind energy. 

Overall, about 18 percent of Vestas’ entire Colorado manufacturing workforce was affected this week at its two blade factories. In 2012, Vestas’ manufacturing workforce in Colorado has decreased from more than 1,700 to about 1,200 people at four factories, which includes attrition, relocations and reductions." 

You can read the entire statement from Vestas at the Denver Business Journal.

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Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems announced 75 more job cuts at its blade factory in Brighton Wednesday. Officials with the company say the layoffs are a result of Congress's continued failure to renew the PTC. The current credit expires at the end of the year.

In his statement, Senator Mark Udall said the layoffs underline the need for congress to pass the extension.

“Congress’s failure to quickly extend the PTC is pushing this promising industry backwards, costing hard working Coloradans their jobs. Nonetheless, I remain committed to working with colleagues from both sides of the aisle to immediately extend the PTC as soon as Congress returns to Washington.”

The Wind Tax Credit has been an important issue for Udall, who has taken to the Senate floor nearly 20 times this year to speak about wind energy development across the country.

The credit is offered not for the producers of wind energy, but for those who use the electricity. The credit amounts to 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity that comes from wind turbines over 10 years.

According to Senator Michael Bennet, continued delay in passing the PTC hits home for Colorado. In his statement, the Senator highlighted the support the credit has with the majority of Colorado’s Congressional Delegation.

“It’s unnecessarily making it harder for families to buy groceries, put gas in their cars and pay their bills. The wind tax credit has bipartisan support and should be extended as soon as soon as possible.”

Senator Bennet says Colorado currently generates the third highest percentage of power from wind of any state in the nation. Home to several major wind energy developers and wind turbine manufacturing facilities, the industry employs nearly 6,000 workers statewide.