Denmark's Vestas Wind Systems, the world's leading wind turbine manufacturer, announced yesterday in a press release its intention to establish a new research and development centre in the USA. The new centre, which will be operational from 2009 and employ up to 80 people, is being established as part of the company's ambition to extend its leading position in wind energy.
Vestas has not yet decided where the US centre will be located, but hints that it is primarily looking at options close to major universities with strong reputations. Finn Strøm Madsen, president of Vestas Technology R&D, says that it is crucial for Vestas to attract the best talent globally and collaborate with world-leading universities. "Being located close to a university will therefore be our first priority,” he says.
The announcement of the new R&D centre follows Vestas' decision in March this year to build a turbine blade factory in Windsor, Colorado. The facility is currently under construction and is scheduled to come on stream in early 2008. In response to the call for large-scale public investments in sustainable energy, the wind energy sector is seeing strong growth in North America. During 2006 wind power capacity in the US alone increased by more than 30% to 12,000 MW.
Vestas Wind Systems is headquartered in Randers, Jutland, and employs over 13,500 people worldwide. The company has installed more than 33,500 wind turbines in 63 countries across five continents, and is now installing a new turbine every 5 hours. Vestas has production facilities in Denmark, Germany, China, India, Italy, UK, Spain, Sweden, Norway and Australia and is constructing a turbine blade factory in Colorado, USA. In 2006, Vestas Wind Systems generated revenues of DKK 28.7 bn (USD 5.1 bn).