3:06pm

Tue December 11, 2012
Business

Vestas Cuts Hours To Save Colorado Jobs

Danish wind turbine maker Vestas is cutting back hours for employees at its northern Colorado blade factories in Brighton and Windsor.  

The company has already cut 500 jobs in Colorado amidst uncertainty over whether Congress will extend the wind tax credit. Susan Innis is a spokesperson with Vestas.

“This decision helps preserve jobs and the employee benefits provided by Vestas won’t change.”

Innis says work shifts from 40 to 32 hours a week starting January 1st. Another reason for the change is due to a dramatic decrease of US wind turbine orders. Vestas says the hours will be partly covered via unemployment benefits through a state program called Work Share.

Bloomberg reports Vestas is trying to prepare its U.S. operations for a potential slowdown if the wind tax credit is allowed to expire.

The company predicts global shipments will total 5 gigawatts next year, down from about 6.3 gigawatts in 2012.

The expiring production tax credit provides an incentive of 2.2 cents a kilowatt-hour for wind power.

Vestas is cutting more than 6,000 jobs over two years and has said that the loss of the tax credit puts 1,600 jobs at risk in the U.S.

Congress has until the end of the year to extend the wind tax credit.

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