Supporters of wind energy are predicting that what happens in Congress over the next several days could be crucial to the fate of the industry.
A wind energy equipment manufacturer says it will lay off 615 workers in Iowa, Kansas and Florida in part because Congress has not renewed a tax credit for wind energy.
Siemens Energy Inc. says it told workers the news Tuesday at plants in Fort Madison, Iowa; Hutchinson, Kan., and Orlando, Fla.
The biggest cuts will come in Fort Madison, where 407 workers at a wind turbine blade factory will be out of work. About 220 workers there will be retained.
The company blamed difficult market conditions due to lack of congressional action on a wind energy tax credit as well as increased use of natural gas-fired power plants and an overall sluggish economy.
In a statement, Siemens says the industry is seeing a significant drop in new wind turbine orders.