News Release from Vestas


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Denmark - Vestas opens Colorado plant

Production of blades for 600 turbines annually expected

Vestas, the world's largest wind-turbine maker, officially opened its first U.S. manufacturing plant on Colorado's northern plains, where it expects to produce blades for 600 turbines a year. Denmark-based Vestas Wind Systems will eventually employ 600 workers at its 400,000-square-foot plant outside Windsor, about 60 miles north of Denver. It has about 200 workers now.

Ditlev Engel, Vestas' president and chief executive officer, said the United States was the company's largest market last year. "We have great faith in the potential of our industry in this country," he said.

Gov. Bill Ritter attended the plant's ceremonial opening and called it "a victory for our state." He said Vestas will help attract other renewable energy companies to Colorado. Ritter has set a goal of attracting renewable energy research and manufacturing operations to the state for what he calls the "New Energy Economy." "We now have in-state manufacturing capacity to supply wind farms not just in Colorado but across North America," he said. Ritter said the Vestas plant has already spawned conversations with other companies thinking about locating in Colorado. He declined to elaborate.

Vestas spokeswoman Lone Mortensen said the factory expects to reach full production in May. It finished its first blade on Jan. 31. The plant will make 130- and 144-foot long blades weighing about 6 tons each. They will be used on two turbine sizes, producing either 1.65 megawatts or 3 megawatts. One 3-megawatt wind turbine can supply more than 1,000 American homes with electricity for one year, Vestas said.

Vestas has installed more than 33,500 wind turbines in 63 countries and employs more than 15,000 people worldwide. It has installed more than 4,000 megawatts of wind power in this country. Vestas cited Windsor's access to rail services and a skilled work force as reasons for choosing the location. The town and Weld County offered Vestas incentives worth a total of about $1.1 million in deferred development fees and tax breaks, interim Town Manager Kelly Arnold said.

Craig Cox, executive director of the Colorado-based Interwest Energy Alliance, a trade and advocacy group, called the plant "a true manifestation of the New Energy Economy." He likened the significance of the plant to Colorado's voter-approved requirement that utilities get some of their energy from renewable sources. "I think it shows Colorado is finally on the map," he said.
Edited by Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist

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