Vestas closes last US R&D facility

UNITED STATES: Vestas has continued cutting its US operations with the closure of a research and development facility in Louisville, Colorado.

Vestas has closed its last US R&D plant

Louisville is the third and last of Vestas' US R&D centres. Previously, Vestas had said it would consolidate all three in its Brighton, Colorado, blade plant. However, this plan has been cancelled.

The closure will result in 60 job cuts. Other plants have already been terminated at Houston, Texas, and Marlborough, Massachusetts.

The closures are part of the company's restructuring as a result of the expiry of the production tax credit (PTC). In a statement the company said it was aiming to reduce its global R&D costs. It has also closed offices in Singapore and China and reduced its R&D headcount by 20%.

The turbine manufacturer said: "Vestas has adopted a flexible business strategy during a period of changing market dynamics in the wind industry. Vestas will continue to scale up or down depending on business needs and market demands."

The Louisville facility was only opened in 2010. At the time Vestas said it had chosen Louisville as it was central to its other three manufacturing plants in the state. These are located in Brighton (gearboxes), Pueblo (towers) and Windsor (blades).

This year, Vestas has made around 90 job cuts at its Pueblo, Colorado, tower plant and announced 80 job losses at its Brighton blade and nacelle manufacturing plant, also in Colorado.

However, the company forecast this number would rise to 1,600 if the PTC was not renewed. It has predicted an 80% fall in demand in the US market.