State and city officials hope a proposed $16 million Vestas research facility in Marlboro won’t just blow away after learning yesterday the Danish wind turbine maker would lay off 182 U.S. and Canadian workers, with the possibility of another 1,600 U.S. manufacturing jobs on the chopping block this year.
“We’re still hoping to work with the company,” said Marlboro Mayor Arthur Vigeant. “They are in the permitting stage for building it. There are no jobs yet to speak of to take away.”
Vestas currently employs 34 people in technology research and development in Marlboro and Hudson. The company held a ceremonial ground-breaking in November – an event attended by “green” energy champion Gov. Deval Patrick – for a 27,000-square-foot building where workers would develop generators and drive-train technologies for next-generation wind turbines.
In exchange for creating 66 jobs, Marlboro granted a 10-year tax incentive plan to Vestas, Vigeant said. The deal is valid only if Vestas actually builds the facility.
Vestas said yesterday it will lay off 2,335 people worldwide. The additional 1,600 U.S. jobs facing elimination will only be wiped out if the U.S. Congress does not extend a special tax credit.
“We will evaluate it during 2012 depending entirely on how the political situation evolves,” Vestas chief Ditlev Engel told Bloomberg News.
State Rep. John Keenan, D-Salem, co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, said wind projects are important in making renewable energy cost effective.
“I’m hopeful (the layoffs) would not impact the facility out in Marlboro,” he said.
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