In its interim financial report for Q1 2008, world-leading wind turbine manufacturer Vestas reveals that it has decided to build a tower factory, which it claims will be the world's largest, in Colorado. The Centennial State is already home to Vestas' first US factory, a blade-manufacturing facility in upstate Windsor which was officially opened in March this year.
Concerning the decision to build 'Vestas Towers', the company writes: "The decision was made in spite of the uncertainty surrounding the extension of the PTC* scheme. However, with 25 states in the US already having adopted targets for renewable energy's proportion of the local energy mix, Vestas is confident that the US will henceforth pursue a more long-term energy policy instead of the prevailing highly short-term approach to wind power."
Vestas reports that it will invest EUR 160m (USD 245m) in the tower production facility, to be commissioned from mid-2010. The facility is expected to produce around 900 towers per year, substantially increasing the in-house share of Vestas’ tower production. Vestas Towers will create 400 new jobs in Colorado.
Vestas also writes in the report that as part of its US expansion, the company will establish a research and development centre in the US in 2009. This adds no further information than was given in Vestas' first press release on the subject in November 2007. The company has declined to answer questions from the media about where in the US the facility might be located, although as previously reported on this website, it is known that Vestas has been in dialogue with the state of Minnesota, which is keen to attract the facility.
Other states rumoured to be interested include Iowa, Oregon, Texas and - you guessed it - Colorado.
[update 02 June: Vestas announces that the R&D Centre will be sited in Houston, Texas -Ed]
* Production Tax Credit – Ed.