Editor’s note: These plant closings are not restricted to the U.S. but include China, Denmark, and Singapore. This would be indicative of a worldwide slowdown in wind developments. And my suspicion: the company will lean a bit more on the R&D provided by capable government organizations such as NREL in the U.S. and Risø in Denmark.
Vestas has decided to further simplify its global research and development (R&D) footprint to reduce operational costs. To do so, the company will close its three R&D offices in the United States by the end of the second quarter in 2013.
In addition to previously announced closures of R&D operations in Houston and Marlborough, Mass., the Louisville, Colo. facility also will close. In the next three to six months, as Vestas closes its R&D offices in Houston, Marlborough and Louisville, there will be a resulting workforce reduction of about 85 people combined at the three locations. This is a difficult decision to part with dedicated and talented people who contributed to Vestas’ success.
Vestas also closed R&D locations this year in China, Denmark, and Singapore, and reduced its R&D employee base by about 20% compared with 2011. Vestas will continue its R&D presence in six other locations around the world that will be able to design and develop products in a leaner and faster way. This focus on product development expects to more quickly increase turbine efficiency and lower costs for Vestas’ customers.
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.