Vestas president urges Senate to extend wind energy tax credit

"An extension of the PTC is necessary for the continued employment of the 80,000 people working in the U.S. wind turbines industry," Wyrsch said. "Wind power has grown dramatically in the past several years, creating a manufacturing renaissance in the U.S., and the PTC has been a significant drive in that growth."

Vestas has invested roughly $1 billion in Colorado since 2008, when it opened its first North American production plant in Windsor. The company has since opened facilities in Brighton and Pueblo, employing more than 3,000.

The PTC, which has been available since 1992, offers a 2.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour credit to owners of wind farm projects once a wind turbine begins producing electricity, making investment in such wind turbines projects more attractive.

The PTC has previously been extended several times in its nearly 20-year history. During that time, the U.S. wind industry has grown dramatically, with more than 400 production facilities in 43 states manufacturing wind turbine components, according to the American Wind Energy Association. A report by Navigant Consulting on Dec. 12 said 37,000 American jobs could be lost if the PTC is not extended.