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Vestas hiring 1,500 employees this year in Colorado

PUEBLO, Colo. - The Vestas Tower Plant in Pueblo is stepping up hiring this year, as the wind energy industry continues to boom.

Every year, 1,100 wind towers are built at the plant in Pueblo.

"When you couple together a whole field of turbines, we can power cities. And that's what we do," said Tony Knopp, vice president of Vestas Towers America.

The demand for wind turbines is so high, the company is hiring 1,500 employees this year at its four manufacturing facilities in Colorado.

"The wind corridor as we defined it is North Dakota to Texas. And what we found in Colorado is not only really good employees because of the steel-making abilities that are here in Pueblo, but also because that's center to our market," Knopp said.

Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) toured the facility, explaining why he supports extending the wind energy tax credit, which expired last year.

"The oil and gas industry have permanent tax incentives. Nuclear power has permanent tax incentives. It's just our way of saying as a society we want to make sure wind energy can compete with all the other energy technologies," Udall said.

Knopp said, "Currently, the production tax credit allows us some incentives that allow better sales. We hope that it gets extended."

Those who oppose renewing the wind tax credit say the wind industry doesn't need federal support. Udall's opponent, Cory Gardner, does support the tax credit but said he wants it to fade over time.

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