Vestas receives 145 MW order from Wisconsin wind farm

Vestas Wind Systems announced Thursday that it had received an order for 81 wind turbines from a wind power park in Wisconsin, the second new order the company has received this year from the United States.

The wind turbines — from the blades to the wind turbine housing units to the towers — will be built at Vestas’ Colorado plants: the blades will be produced in Windsor, the housing units will be built in Brighton, and the towers will be built in Pueblo, Vestas reported.

After opening its plant in Windsor two years ago, Vestas decided to build two manufacturing facilities in Brighton and a tower manufacturing plant in Pueblo. Last year, however, it hit a dead spot when American orders for turbines all but stopped.

Vestas Wind Systems announced in December a temporary production halt at the Windsor wind energy plant in the first quarter of 2010 to allow the company to train employees on new manufacturing technology.

The lull was broken in February when Vestas received an order for 33 wind turbines from a wind farm in New Hampshire. Production for the New Hampshire wind power order will not start until the physical site of the wind farm has been prepared, which could be another year.

The new order to fill the Glacier Hills Wind Farm in Wisconsin comes with a two-year service agreement after delivery of the wind turbines next year.

Vestas Wind Systems last week got back into its production schedule to begin building wind turbines again, according to employees who work there.

Vestas Wind Systems reports the new order for wind turbines will not change its outlook for 2010, which had been downsized because of the economy.

By Sharon Dunn, Greeley Tribune, Colo.

Vestas began its partnership with We Energies in 1999, supplying the utility its first wind turbines in Byron, Wisconsin. In 2007, Vestas delivered 88 V82-1.65 MW turbines for the Blue Sky Green Field project that went online in 2008.

“Our experience with the Vestas V82 turbine at our Blue Sky Green Field project has surpassed projections,” says Rick Kuester, Executive Vice President of Wisconsin Energy Corporation, the parent company of We Energies. “The Vestas V90-1.8 delivers the lowest overall cost for customers and is a good fit with the wind resource at the site.”

Headquartered in Milwaukee, We Energies serves more than 1.1 million consumers in Wisconsin and Michigan with electricity.

The wind power project is expected to generate more than 400 million emission-free kilowatt hours annually – enough to power 45,000 homes.

The construction alliance will include The Boldt Company of Appleton, Michels Corporation of Brownsville and Edgerton Contractors, Inc. of Oak Creek.

"Developing the Glacier Hills Wind farm through this home-state construction alliance will benefit Wisconsin’s economy while achieving a low cost approach to generating more energy from renewable resources," said Rick Kuester, executive vice president of Wisconsin Energy Corporation, the parent of We Energies. "The project will be built with the talents of these Wisconsin companies and local craft labor."