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CO Wind Farm Company Is Shutting Down

From the Denver, CO NBC affiliate KUSA-TV:

Vestas shutting down production for unknown time

By Dan Boniface, Adam Chodak    

12/7/2009

WINDSOR – Denmark-based wind-turbine company Vestas plans to temporarily halt production at its Windsor blade manufacturing plant for an unknown period of time in the first part of 2010.

Most, if not all, of its 500 employees at the plant will be placed on furlough during that time.

"There will be no layoffs," Vestas spokesman Peter Kruse said.

Vestas has also frozen its hiring process for the two manufacturing plants in Brighton, which remain under construction.

The company had planned to create 1,350 jobs at its Brighton facility by 2010.

"The first quarter historically is always a slow quarter," Kruse said, adding this anticipated dip has been exacerbated by a tight credit market and the relatively low price of gas.

"We’re building up slowly due to the lack of orders," he said. "We would all prefer to make ourselves useful, but that’s impossible."

Kruse offered his assurances the move is a temporary setback.

"As for U.S. manufacturing, I can tell you that we’re in this for the long haul," he said.

Mike Masciola, senior vice president of Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp. in Fort Collins, said he was unaware of Vestas’ furlough plans but was not surprised.

"We’ve heard rumors that sales have dropped off because of the economy and financing of end products that is more difficult to secure," Masciola said. "You can sort of make the connection that if that’s the case and actual (wind) farms aren’t being built, that their orders are going to be down."

The opening of the Windsor plant and the groundbreaking of the Brighton plants were met with festivity and celebration. Gov. Bill Ritter attended both events and hailed Vestas as a symbol of Colorado’s future green energy economy.

Even Dreyer, a spokesman for Gov. Ritter, issued the following statement on Monday:

"This is a global recession and every sector, every market and every industry is adapting to the most challenging economy since the Great Depression. Vestas is fully committed to Colorado for the short-term, medium-term and the long haul. The company is spending $1 billion to build four manufacturing plants here and is hiring and training thousands of employees. The company clearly sees Colorado and the U.S. as key to its long-term growth strategy."

Vestas announced a slowdown in hiring this fall. It will also fail to meet its goal of completing its tower plant in Pueblo by the end of this year.

Brighton’s new Mayor Dick McLean said his town is less impacted than Windsor because the Windsor plant is already up and running.

"The last we heard was that they were going to probably start the nacelle plant in early February but probably hold off on the blade plant because purchase orders are not coming through and end users are having trouble getting lending," he said.

Brighton is banking on Vestas’ facilities to help boost its economy, said McLean, who was sworn in as mayor last week.

"If it is delayed, of course we’ll just hopefully wait until they do come and hopefully the economy does turnaround and it’s just a short-term thing and not a long-term thing," McLean said.

Aren’t wind farms exactly the kind of ‘green jobs’ that Mr. Obama claimed he would save or create with his stimulus package?

What happened?

"The first quarter historically is always a slow quarter," Kruse said, adding this anticipated dip has been exacerbated by a tight credit market and the relatively low price of gas.

Oh, now we understand.

With the cheap price of gas, people aren’t using wind to power their cars now.

That explains everything.

– Still, if could only we find a way to drive up the price of gasoline, think how much better off the world would be.

(Thanks to BillK for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, December 8th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “CO Wind Farm Company Is Shutting Down”

  1. BillK says:

    After the state of Colorado fronted them $5 million and they have been promoted up and down the state by Democratic Governor Bill Ritter as an example of the “green” jobs Colorado is attracting, we have this, as reported by Denver’s KUSA Television:

    Vestas shutting down production for unknown time

    WINDSOR – Denmark-based wind-turbine company Vestas plans to temporarily halt production at its Windsor blade manufacturing plant for an unknown period of time in the first part of 2010.

    Most, if not all, of its 500 employees at the plant will be placed on furlough during that time…

    http://www.9news.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=128424

    The pinwheel maker isn’t laying people off, just putting them on “furlough.” Got it.

    But how can this be the “most challenging economy since the Great Depression” after Obama’s recovery plans?

    No fear, the EPA’s CO2 regulation will be a boon to companies like this that otherwise would have little to no market whatsoever for their products.

    You’ve got to love it when Government mandates purchase of an otherwise largely pointless product, don’t you?

  2. GL0120 says:

    Heck, I did my best for the planet, I tried powering my car with a windmill but it just didn’t wanna work. I had all kinds of problems
    Since I drive an SUV, I sit a little bit higher than most cars and this caused the blades to keep breaking, not to mention the damage to them little bitty cars that the blades hit. I’m not even gonna mention them poor bicycle messengers.
    Then there were those poor folks who were standing just a little too close to the street when I drove by.
    I am truly sorry but I just have to go back to gasoline, my insurance company is getting real tired of paying claims for cars and people that I chopped up.

  3. Wanderlust says:

    I think the writer was talking about natural gas prices, not gasoline. Low natural gas prices would depress cent per kilowatt energy prices, making expensive energy from windfarms sub-economic even with expensive subsidies and utilities pandering to get people to pay extra for “green” power.

    I have experience in trying to get a windfarm project “across the line”, where the sole reason for the project’s existence was political (outside of the US). Still didn’t work even after twisting the project financials like a pretzel and applying special tax rules to the numbers. Bottom line is, industrial users *cannot* depend on wind power as an energy source for power-intensive processes. Period.

    While I don’t doubt that there is a niche somewhere for wind power, it’s just that: a very narrow niche. Wind by its very nature, in most places, cannot supply baseload generation for the grid where there is no backup generation supply. It can only supplement baseload, and only at a high price.

    But then again, windfarms have nothing to do with a desire to generate power and everything to do with pandering to a political class that wishes to pay off its cronies while screwing the masses.

    -Wanderlust

    • BillK says:

      That’s why multiple states have passed laws requiring an (ever-increasing) percentage of power be generated by “green” power.

      Couple that with cap and trade and soon coal and gas generation will be outlawed altogether, and our homes will simply go dark and cold at night or when the wind isn’t blowing.

      Welcome back to 1910, except they burned coal and wood then, and both would be forbidden under the New Energy Order.

  4. bill says:

    No one ever wants to bring up what the green energy will cost, do they. I wonder why that is.

    BTW, is windmill construction green. I bet those 100 yard diameter monsters aren’t grown in the average vegetable garden.

  5. proreason says:

    The boy king should get a beanie with a windmill on it.

    It would be the symbol of his movement.

    The symbol of my movement will be a beanie with a windmill on it covered with a turd.

  6. Right of the People says:

    I wanted to have a windmill powered electric car but the darned extension cord only let me go to the end of my block.

    The only regular source of wind is in Washington at the Capitol Building but then only when congress is in session.

  7. Chuckk says:

    Whatever happen to solar pannels? All they needed was a few billion government dollars and they would solve all energy problems.


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