Vestas fires 20% of U.S. workforce on tax credit uncertainty

E&E • Posted: Monday, October 15, 2012

The biggest wind turbine manufacturer in the world has axed about 20 percent of its U.S. jobs as the company waits to see whether the wind production tax credit will be extended in 2013.

Vestas Wind Systems A/S made the cuts despite having the “busiest year ever in the U.S. and Canada by supplying wind turbines to more than 20 new wind power projects,” Martha Wyrsch, president of Vestas’ Americas unit, said in a statement. “However, the U.S. wind industry has slowed largely due to the uncertainty surrounding the federal production tax credit extension.”

The company said it might face more job reductions in the months ahead and could cut 1,600 more U.S. jobs if the credit expires.

The layoffs announced today are part of the 3,735 job cuts the company said it would be carrying out at the beginning of the year.

The move comes a week after Vestas announced plans to consolidate its research and development operations in one central location (Greenwire, Oct. 5).

“Vestas will continue to scale its workforce up or down depending on business need and market demands,” the company said.

The PTC gives 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour for wind production (Doom/Morales, Bloomberg, Oct. 12). — HP