Wind Turbine manufacturer picks Northern Colorado site
Deal brings 400 jobs, will 'catalyze' the region's renewable energy industry
Vestas Wind Systems A/S of Randers, Denmark announced today that it will establish its first U.S.-based blade production facility at a 100-acre site in the Great Western Industrial Park in Windsor.
Vestas company officials, in a press release, said they chose the site "based on the park's central location, as well as the direct access to rail services and a skilled workforce." Vestas will employ about 400 people at the Weld County location.
The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC), the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Upstate Colorado Economic Development, and the Town of Windsor worked cooperatively to assist Vestas in its site selection search.
"Colorado is past the tipping point when it comes to establishing its commitment to a balanced energy economy," said Tom Clark, executive vice president of the Metro Denver EDC. "As the largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world, Vestas' choice signals the emergence of Colorado's leadership role in renewable energy."
"We are confident that we have chosen the right location for our 19,000 square-metre (approx 200,000 sq. feet) blade factory in the USA," explained Ole Borup Jakobsen, president of Vestas Blades A/S. "The local authorities, economic development partners, and Great Western Development Company have shown strong commitment towards making this project a reality and we look forward to continuing our good relationship during and after the establishment of the factory."
Vestas' total investment in production equipment, land, and buildings is approximately $60 million. Construction of the factory will begin in the spring of 2007, with a production start planned for early 2008. At full capacity, the plant will produce approximately 1,200 blades per year to supply a booming North American wind-energy market, much of it in the Rocky Mountain region.
"We are extremely excited that Vestas has chosen the State of Colorado for its first production facility in the USA," said Colorado Governor Bill Ritter. "This is a perfect example of how we are going to build a new energy economy here in Colorado and establish the state as a national and world leader in renewable energy. The State of Colorado welcomes Vestas to the region and we look forward to working together with Vestas in promoting renewable energy in the USA."
Wind energy is one of the fastest growing energy industries in the world. In 2006 alone, the USA saw an increase of 30 percent in capacity, reaching nearly 12,000 total installed MW to date. "As per 30 June 2006, Vestas had installed more than 9,300 wind turbines in the USA and Canada, and the market prospects continue to look promising," said Jens Søby, president of Vestas Americas A/S. "Establishing a blade production in Colorado is an important step forward in our strategy to grow our business in the North American market."