Wind industry layoffs


The wind energy industry needs free-blowing wind and free-flowing credit — and lack of credit is slowing development, reports the PiPress. In Pipestone, the world’s fifth-largest turbine manufacturer, Suzlon Energy Ltd., will lay off 70 of 324 workers by August 2, and 90 more by September 12. Last year was a big year for wind power, but this year projects have been stopped or delayed by lack of financing.

Banks and developers are waiting for the U.S. Treasury Department to finalize regulations next month that can free up valuable federal grants for renewable energy projects, but the money likely won’t start flowing until September at the earliest, said Gregory Jenner, a partner and tax specialist for Stoel Rives, a law firm that works with wind energy projects.

At the same time, a company in Fargo is laying off 100 workers at a plant that made support towers, and a planned production facility for wind turbine gearboxes in southeastern Minnesota is on hold, according to MPR. On a more postive note, Willmar has just finished building two wind turbines.

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