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Vestas To Add Over 1,000 Jobs In Colorado

Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas plans to build two plants in Brighton, 15 miles northeast of Denver, and bring a total of 1,350 more jobs to the state.

DENVER (AP) -- Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems said Friday it will build two more plants in Colorado and bring a total of 1,350 more jobs to the state.

The factories, both planned 15 miles northeast of Denver in Brighton, would be the Denmark-based company's third and fourth facilities in the state and would eventually bring its Colorado work force to 2,350.

One of the Brighton plants will manufacture wind turbine blades and have 650 employees. The other will manufacture nacelles, the turbine housings that include the generator, transformer and gearbox. It will have 700 employees.

Vestas already has a blade-making plant in Windsor, 50 miles north of Denver,which currently has 200 workers and is expected to have 650 at full employment.

Vestas announced in May it plans to build a factory somewhere in Colorado that will manufacture the towers that support the nacelles and blades. Vestas has not said where in the state the plant will be but said it will have 400 workers.

"This is a tremendous boon for all of Colorado, not just Brighton," said Gov. Bill Ritter, who has cultivated alternative energy companies as employers.

"By bringing more than 1,350 additional jobs here, Vestas is cementing its standing as one of Colorado's pioneering partners in the New Energy Economy," he said.

Vestas said it chose Brighton because of a large and qualified work force in the area, the town's access to railroads and highways and its proximity to the Windsor plant, about 35 miles north.

Vestas said it will also open a purchasing office in Chicago to be closer to suppliers. It did not say how may people would work there.

Vestas also will open a technology and production engineering office in Brighton to help equip and improve the factories.

The Brighton plants and the tower-building plant are all expected to be operating in 2010.

Vestas said the nacelle factory will be its largest, capable of producing 1,400 nacelles a year. The Brighton and Windsor plants will each be capable of producing 1,800 blades per year.

The tower plant is expected to produce 900 towers a year.

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