Danish Wind Company Slows Hiring In U.S.

Wind-turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems to slow U.S. hiring and building, including a plan to employ a total of 2,500 people in Colorado.

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) -- The economic slowdown has prompted Danish wind-turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems to slow its U.S. hiring and building, including in Colorado.

Vestas planned to employ a total of 2,500 people in Colorado by the end of next year, but says that likely will be pushed back to 2011.

About 500 people work at its blade manufacturing plant in Windsor, 60 miles north of Denver. A plant that makes towers for the turbines employs roughly 100 people in Pueblo in southern Colorado.

But Vestas Americas spokesman Roby Roberts said hiring has stopped at two plants being built in Brighton. The plants 20 miles north of Denver will produce blades and nacelles -- housings that include the turbine's generator, transformer and gearbox.

"Things have slowed down like everywhere," Roberts told The Tribune in Greeley last week. "We just spent $1 billion in capital projects in the U.S. We believe the fundamentals are intact. It's just going to be slower."

Vestas said this year's orders weren't as high as anticipated. Still, the company reported that its third-quarter profit margins rose to $2.67 billion, up 3 percent from the same period last year.

The American Wind Energy Association, a trade group, said earlier this month that excess supply has slowed production of turbines.

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