Vestas closing Brighton office, cutting 60 more jobs
DENVER — Vestas, the world’s leading manufacturer of wind turbines, has decided to close its research and development plant in Louisville, which will result in the elimination of 60 jobs.
The news was first reported Thursday morning by the Denver Post.
Last month, the company had said it planned to consolidate all of its R&D plants in the United States into its facility in Brighton, but that plan has also been scrapped.
The moves are part of a wider effort by the Denmark-based company to reduce costs in response to a slowdown in orders for new wind turbines that coincides with Congress’s failure to renew the Production Tax Credit for wind energy providers.
“The opponents of extending the PTC are treating our energy security — and ultimately our national security — as a political football,” said Sen. Mark Udall, D-El Dorado Springs, who’s given 19 speeches on the Senate floor urging the House to pass the extension. “These layoffs are on their hands.”
More than 100 Vestas employees have already lost their jobs this year.
“This should have been a no-brainer,” said Golden Congressman Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat. “But Mitt Romney came out against it; and as a consequence, even though I think there may have been a bipartisan consensus to pass it, [it’s stalled] because the head of the Republican tickets opposes it.”
Eight of nine members of Colorado’s congressional delegation, including three of four Republicans, support the extension of the wind PTC. Perlmutter believes it may be extended in the lame-duck session of Congress that will follow the election.
“I hope that maybe the Republican leadership, after this election, will say, ‘Okay, we see that this is a good investment for us to continue to make’.”
The League of Conservation Voters continues to air a 30-second TV ad in Colorado during the final week of the election that features Chris Maese, a Pueblo father who describes being laid off from the Vestas plant there because of the uncertain over the PTC’s extension.