On the same day that job data showing Colorado had the highest unemployment rate in three years, state officials announced a major expansion for Vestas Wind Systems in what will eventually become the state's largest renewable-energy venture.
Vestas, the world's largest wind-energy manufacturer selected Brighton to be the location of its new $290 million wind turbine complex. The 178-acre Brighton site will make blades and assemble the nacelles that wind turbines use to generate power. The project is expected to create 1,350 new jobs.
The company already has a major blade manufacturing facility in Windsor facility producing about 1,800 blades a year and employing 650 people at peak production.
Vestas' presence in Colorado is a cornerstone of Gov. Bill Ritter's "new energy economy" that seeks to make the state a focus of both renewable energy power plants and manufacturing complexes.
"This expansion reinforces Colorado's standing as a national and international leader in clean, modern energy for the future," Ritter said at a news conference today.
Vestas move into Northern Colorado has already spurred growth in its Colorado supply-chain, and today's announcement is certain to contribute even more to the burgeoning renewable energy sector in the state.
Photo: Tim Hurst