Denmark's Vestas Wind Systems, the world's leading manufacturer of wind turbines, is getting plenty of attention these days. In January the firm was invited to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, the first time a renewable energy company has received such an honour. And on Monday this week, the stock market took very positive note when Vestas upgraded revenue and EBIT margin expectations in the run-up to delivering its full-year results in London on 27 February. Vestas' share price leaped 7% on the news.
Across the Atlantic meanwhile, Minnesota has Vestas very much in its thoughts, as it seeks to entice the Danish concern to locate a planned research and development center, along with 80 high-end engineering jobs, in the North Star State.
As reported on this website last November, Vestas has announced its intention to build a US-based R&D centre, but so far has said precious little about where it will be placed, apart from that it is primarily looking at locations close to large and well-recognized universities.
Associated Press has however reported Minnesota Governor Jim Pawlenty saying that his administration is holding talks with Vestas, and that lawmakers are considering a package of unspecified incentives to attract Vestas to the state, which is already the third-largest producer of wind energy in the US. And Minnesota's Post Review reports on its website that the University of Minnesota has contacted Vestas to express willingness to explore partnering options.
Denmark's TV2 News asked Vestas senior vice-president Peter Wenzel Kruse to comment on the reported moves from Minnesota. "We are talking to many people about this," he says non-committally. "Both concerning the establishment of a research center and a tower factory."
This last point regarding building a wind turbine tower factory - presumably also in the US - seems not to have made headlines so far. But given the attention that Vestas is getting these days, it probably soon will.