Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wind Power Factory Watch: Colorado Cashes In

Well, I'm pretty much stupefied by lack of sleep, but ought to write something nonetheless about today's press event at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. It took place in front of a 131-foot-long, made-in-Colorado wind turbine blade, which provided a spectacular, if camera-angle-challenging, backdrop symbolizing the new manufacturing jobs that wind power is bringing across America.

Notables present included Roby Roberts, Senior Vice President of External Relations for turbine manufacturer Vestas; Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, U.S. Representatives Mark Udall and Ed Perlmutter, and American Wind Energy Association Executive Director Randall Swisher. You can read the Vestas press release here.

In recent days, Vestas has announced plans for two additional plants in Colorado, and now expects to have four plants operating by 2010 with more than 2,000 employees.

The positive ingredients in this success story? Colorado's strong Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), passed by the state's voters at the polls in November, 2004, and the federal wind energy production tax credit. With a national RES (more than half of the states have already passed one) and a long-term extension of the production tax credit, we could all be seeing the powerful wind job-creating machine at work.


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