Environment | Energy

More Layoffs For Major Wind Company

Northwest Public Radio | Nov. 8, 2012 1:42 p.m.

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Vestas says it will cut an additional 3,000 jobs by the end of 2013. But spokesman Andrew Longeteig says service revenue has increased 46 percent in the past year. Vestas will provide maintenance to Palouse Wind in Washington.

Vestas says it will cut an additional 3,000 jobs by the end of 2013. But spokesman Andrew Longeteig says service revenue has increased 46 percent in the past year. Vestas will provide maintenance to Palouse Wind in Washington.

Courtney Flatt

A global wind company with offices in the Pacific Northwest has announced more layoffs.

Vestas says it will cut an additional 3,000 jobs by the end of 2013. That nearly doubles the number of jobs the wind turbine company had planned to eliminate. Most recently Vestas it would layoff 3,700 people by the end of 2012.

Vestas has not said where jobs will be cut from its global workforce, though some of the job eliminations happen as the company sells off some manufacturing facilities. That means workers will be employed through a different company. Vestas’ North American sales and service office is based in Portland.

Spokesman Andrew Longeteig said the wind turbine market is going to be shaky the next couple years.

“The short term is going to be challenging for Vestas and the entire wind industry. At the same time we’re optimistic about the long-term future of wind power in the United States, and globally,” he said.

Longeteig said turbine maintenance is a major focus of Vestas’ North American operations. He said that part of the company has turned a profit the past two quarters, and service revenue has increased 46 percent from this time last year.

One major reason for the slowdown is industry uncertainty over the production tax credit. Right now, wind producers receive a 2.2-cent tax credit for each kilowatt hour of energy the produce. That credit is set to expire Dec. 31.

The American Wind Energy Association, an industry trade group, predicts 37,000 jobs will be lost, if the credit is not extended another year.

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