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Vestas fires 18% of Colorado workers at two blade factories

Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS), the world’s biggest maker of wind turbines, fired about 18 percent of its Colorado manufacturing workers at two blade factories this week.

The company didn’t say how many people were affected at the plants in Brighton and Windsor, in a statement today. Total manufacturing employment at four Vestas Colorado factories this year fell to 1,200 people from more than 1,700, including losses from attrition.

The company has a “significant reduction” in turbine orders for next year, in part because of a U.S. tax credit that’s due to expire at the end of this year, Aarhus, Denmark- based Vestas said in the statement. Electricity produced from wind, biomass, geothermal and landfill-gas plants currently receives a credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour under the federal Production Tax Credit.

Vestas fired 75 workers earlier this week at its Brighton plant, after cutting about 30 workers at the same plant on Aug. 21. About 90 workers were affected at a plant in Pueblo, Colorado, Aug. 13, as the company seeks to cuts its global workforce about 16 percent this year to 19,000 people.