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Big orders mean plenty of activity on horizon for Colorado Vestas plants

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By The Staff

BRIGHTON — The winds of prosperity have blown some new business to Vestas, meaning more work for workers at the Brighton plants and other Vestas facilities statewide.

On Dec. 18, Vestas announced it received a 350-megawatt order from Enel Green Power North America, Inc. The agreement will see Vestas supply 75 of its V100-2.0 MW turbines for the Origin wind power plant in Oklahoma, with an option for Vestas to supply an additional 836 megawatts worth of turbines.

“We’re thankful to work again with a major global company like Enel Green Power which has a proven track record of building successful wind-energy projects in this country,” said Chris Brown, President of Vestas’ sales and service division in the United States and Canada in a press release.

Vestas previously supplied wind turbines to Enel Green Power for three U.S. projects, most recently the 200 MW Caney River wind power plant in Kansas.

That news was quickly followed with the Dec. 23 announcement that Vestas received a 150-megawatt order from a master supply agreement with First Wind, which potential to deliver up to 568 megawatts worth of turbines.

That order is for the 150 MW Route 66 wind-energy project near Amarillo, Texas. 

“We began working with First Wind a few years ago and have developed a strong partnership with one of the leading U.S. energy developers,” said Brown. “The first project we did with them in Maine has achieved 99 percent availability since it was commissioned last year. We’re confident we can continue that kind of success with our proven products and services.”

Deliveries for the Enel Green Power and First Wind plants are expected to occur in mid-2014 and early 2015, respectively, with commissioning of the Route 66 plant slated for mid-2015.

Vestas has previously supplied turbines to First Wind for two projects — Palouse Wind in eastern Washington, which includes 58 V100-1.8 MW turbines, and Bull Hill in Maine, which has 19 V100-1.8 MW. Both wind power plants were commissioned in 2012.

Both those announcements were a positive note on which to end the year, one which began with plenty of uncertainty about the extension of the wind energy production tax cedit and cutbacks to Vestas’ workforce.

The company has since announced new rounds of hiring to keep pace with the new demand after Congress extended the production tax credit.

In fact, the latest rounds of orders — including another announced Dec. 24 for 55 V100-2.0 MW turbines for an undisclosed project in the United States — helped push Vestas to its second-best sales year ever in the region.

“This order from a large, existing customer reaffirms the strength of our 2 MW platform — we have received over 1,000 megawatts of V100 orders in the U.S. and Canada this year,” Brown said in a release.

That brings the total of secured turbine orders to 1,700 megawatts worth in the United States and Canada, the second-best yearly sales performance for the North American region since 1981.