I’ve written before about Vestas, a Danish wind turbine manufacturer that built a blade facility in Windsor, CO about 10 miles from where I live. I was out flying around the other day and took an aerial photo of the plant and found that they had more than 70 blades on their property. I was impressed because they hadn’t even broken ground at this time last year and they are already up and producing blades. They had started out with a planned capacity of 1200 blades per year, but announced a 50% expansion while the plant was still under construction. They feel as if the U.S. will continue forward with wind development, despite our government’s reluctance to commit to a long-term strategy when it comes to renewable energy.
The amount of energy that this blade plant produces annually will generate enough electricity to power about 400,000 homes. I computed this by de-rating the 600 sets of blades to 1/3 of their 2 MW nameplate capacity. This is similar to the amount of power generated annually from a conventional coal-fired power plant.
I subscribe to a Google Alert for news on Vestas, and on Friday morning I found out that Vestas will be building a new facility in Colorado to manufacture steel towers for their turbines. The facility will employ 400 people and be capable of producing 900 towers per year. They didn’t specify a location, but according to the Northern Colorado Business Report, it appears that several communities in Northern Colorado are under consideration.