Danish wind-energy giant, Vestas, has apparently already opened the doors to its $60 million, 400,000 square foot blade manufacturing facility in Windsor, Colorado. Even though the plant was not officially scheduled to open until this week, The Coloradoan has reported that manufacturing stealthily began as much as four weeks ago. The Windsor factory is the company's first manufacturing facility in North America.
Construction on the plant began in June 2007 with the intent of having a 200,000-square-foot facility with 400 workers. Those workers were to run four production-lines and create 1200 turbine blades per year (enough for 400 turbines). But, as I reported back in November, Vestas announced they would bump the total number of manufacturing jobs up to 650. Since making the announcement, company officials have been relatively tight-lipped about the potential change in production output brought on by the addition of employees.
With 35,000 wind turbines installed, and a market share of 23%, Vestas has 15,000 employees worldwide. In the USA, Vestas has installed more than 4,000 megawatts of wind energy. The company hopes that the centrally-located blade facility in Colorado will ease the bottleneck in US turbine manufacturing and deployment.