Vestas completed 2011 with a second consecutive strong year for wind-turbine sales in the United States and Canada, announcing 1,617 MW and 812 wind turbines worth of orders. Vestas also achieved a record year for installations with 30 new wind-power plants coming online in 2011.
“By the end of 2012, we will have added about 50 new wind farms in the U.S. and Canada over the past two years, solidifying our service business for years to come,” said Martha Wyrsch, President of Vestas’ sales and service operations in the U.S. and Canada. “We’ve also done our work very safely. Across our regional operations, Vestas and its contractors have not had a lost-time injury in more than a year, and our construction operations have not had a recordable or lost-time injury in two years.”
Overall, the company received 10 sales orders from U.S. customers (1,185 MW) and four from Canadian customers (432 MW). In 2010, Vestas announced a company record 1,883 MW of turbine orders for the U.S. and Canadian markets.
To address the growing need for service and maintenance of the new wind power plants, Vestas’ sales and service business unit in the U.S. and Canada has hired more than 200 people since spring 2011. In addition, there are more than 150 job openings in the U.S./Canadian sales and service business unit, primarily in the areas of service, construction and technology. To meet demand for 2010 and 2011 sales, Vestas has filled nearly 700 jobs in the United States and Canada in the past eight months for its regional operations, including many manufacturing positions.
Jobs at stake with PTC expiration
The Production Tax Credit (PTC), due to expire Dec. 31, 2012, has helped drive Vestas’ business and its decision to heavily invest in the United States in the past few years. Wyrsch said if the PTC expires, it will have an impact on employment and capital investment in the U.S. wind industry in 2013 and beyond.
“Since 1999, the PTC has been extended seven times, and prior to 2005, this was done retroactively after expiration,” Wyrsch said. “Along with other industry leaders, we have been engaged in activities designed to extend the PTC as soon as possible — thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs, both at Vestas and other wind energy suppliers, depend on it.”
Despite the potential for a PTC expiration, Wyrsch said 2012 will be an extremely active year in the U.S. and Canada with more than 20 planned installations of wind-energy projects.
In 2011, Vestas also:
- Began renovation on new North American headquarters building in Portland, Ore., with a planned move in spring 2012
- Announced first sale of the new V112-3.0 MW, a 65 MW project in Vermont
- Began construction on wind-energy projects for EDP Renováveis (EDPR) as part of the master supply agreement announced in 2010
- Achieved zero lost-time injuries, and no recordable or lost-time injuries among Vestas construction employees and contractors since January 2010
- Maintained a strong 1,700-employee manufacturing base in Colorado that are busy producing turbine components — blades, nacelles and towers — for U.S. and Canadian projects.
- Began exporting components from its U.S. factories to projects in Mexico, Brazil and Nicaragua
- Renewed 729 MW worth of service contracts, averaging five years, at 16 wind power plants
- Broke ground on 27,000-ft2Test & Verification facility in Marlborough, Mass., which will focus on the research, development, testing and verification of electric power generators and converters for next-generation wind turbines. The facility will open in the summer 2012 and expects to create at least 66 jobs.Summary of Announced Orders in the U.S. and Canada (2011)