One of the Northwest’s biggest wind and solar power companies is laying off people. Tuesday, Iberdrola Renewables let go about 50 workers out of a nationwide staff of more than 900. The cuts affect 25 workers based at its North American headquarters in Portland. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.
Energy company Iberdrola Renewables cited multiple factors for a decision to scale back on new projects. That led directly to layoffs in engineering, construction and development.
“The low energy prices and the regulatory uncertainty here in the U.S. are by far the biggest decision makers,” says company spokeswoman Jan Johnson.
She says a glut of cheap natural gas limits the prices wind and solar power can command. In addition, the entire wind industry is worried Congress will not renew a production tax credit that expires at the end of this year.
Iberdrola’s parent company is Spanish. Johnson says the North American division has a solid balance sheet. She promises it will be “here for the long term.”
The layoffs at the Portland headquarters come on the heels of similar cutbacks at the nearby offices of wind turbine maker Vestas and solar cell parts maker MEMC.