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Milton Financials: Vestas Wind Systems to increase U.S. production despite dire forecasts.
The world’s largest wind turbine maker says its U.S. expansion is on course despite warnings from analysts that the market is shrinking.
Vesta’s CEO Ditlev Engel told reporters that the firm intends to increase its U.S. head count from 2,300 to 4,000 over the next few months. This comes after the turbine maker, in October, announced that it would be cutting 3,000 jobs in its European endeavors.
“The cheapest way to produce electricity in the United States from wind is to make it in the U.S.,” said Engel told Milton Financials sources from Seoul where he is advising G20 leaders on clean energy job creation. “We have no plans to change the balancing of our capacity” beyond the European reductions announced Oct. 26, he said.
Vestas has invested over $1billion to build four factories in Colorado in order to negate the need to import turbines to the U.S., the world’s second largest market after China.
In October, HSBC lowered forecasts for the U.S. wind sector for this year by 14% and by 33% for 2011, while a number of other analysts have similarly pared their estimates.
Earlier this year Vestas opened its Brighton, Colorado nacelles plant, (the housing for power-generating equipment), and also built the world’s biggest windmill tower factory and enlarged its rotor-manufacturing facility in Windsor.
The Randers, Denmark-based company is also due to open another blade-manufacturing plant in 2011 which will give Vestas the capacity to produce around 3,000 MW of turbines a year in the U.S.
“To fill that capacity, Vestas would need to fill more than half the market,” HSBC’s Global Head of Clean Energy Research Robert Clover Told Milton Financials sources in a recent interview. “It looks challenging to have that plant fully loaded at the moment.”
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