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Devens clean energy company cuts more jobs

AMSC, the Devens-based maker of electrical systems for wind turbines, said it has slashed its staff by 20 percent, or about 100 jobs, as it tries to return to profitability after a string of setbacks.”The decision to reduce our work force was difficult, but it is the most prudent course of action given today‚Äôs macro environment,” said AMSC CEO Daniel McGahn.

AMSC, formerly known as American Superconductor Corp., is pursuing a breach of contract and corporate espionage case against its former largest customer, Chinese wind turbine maker Sinovel. And it recently abandoned a bid to buy a Finnish engineering firm after failing to raise enough cash for the deal.

“We believe our new cost structure will enable us to reduce our cash usage and position AMSC for sustainable profitability even if the challenges facing the renewable energy industry and the broader global economy persist.” McGahn said in a statement.

The clean-energy company said the layoffs will cut annual costs by more than $50 million. It will take a one-time restructuring charge of less than $3 million in the fourth quarter.

AMSC cut 150 jobs in August, after Sinovel suddenly stopped accepting shipments of turbine systems from the company. Co-founder and longtime leader Gregory Yurek retired as CEO in June.

The company said it is seeking $1.2 billion in damages and product payments from Sinovel, which has denied allegations that it stole AMSC technology to make its own turbine systems.