Gamesa, the Spanish wind energy company whose North American headquarters are in Middletown, will lay off 165 workers at its two Pennsylvania production facilities later this summer.
Company spokesman David Rosenberg told the Altoona Mirror that the layoffs were a “temporary” answer to U.S. market conditions. At Gamesa’s Falls plant, where the company makes gear boxes for huge wind turbines, 92 employees would lose their jobs. Seventy-three would be laid off at a facility in Cambria County where the company makes the turbine blades.
Rosenberg could not be reached for comment Friday evening.
The news follows a May announcement that Gamesa would halt the installation of a test wind turbine that it had been planning off the coast of Virginia.
The company said it was “extremely difficult” to justify the cost of the project due to the lack of a mature offshore wind-energy market in the U.S. and the looming expiration of federal tax credits for wind-energy producers. The Production Tax Credits, introduced in 1992 to help offset costs, expire at the end of this year.
In a statement sent Friday, the United Steelworkers called on Congress to renew the tax credits.
“The PTC is vital to creating a strong U.S. renewables market with clean energy manufacturing jobs,” Leo W. Gerard, USW International president, said in a statement. “Without it, there is little incentive for existing U.S. wind manufacturers to keep doing business here. Nor is there any incentive for other wind manufacturers to invest in the domestic wind sector.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding