There's been talk from several US Governors about making "their" respective states centers for green job development. Colorado has some actual green job action to report.
Vestas Wind Systems opened the doors of its first wind-blade manufacturing facility in the U.S. on Wednesday, bolstering Colorado's efforts to develop a "new-energy economy" based on wind, solar and biofuels energy.There is a moral to this story which goes far beyond access to the wind, moving into politics and possibly even to lifestyle amenities.
The plant, 60 miles north of Denver, will employ about 650 workers at full capacity this summer. It currently has 200 workers and is hiring about 20 people each week.
Ditlev Engel, Vestas' president and chief executive officer, said the company chose to locate the plant in Windsor because of the cooperation from local officials and partners and the availability of skilled labor in northern Colorado...The plant's price tag is estimated at $65 million, although local, state and county officials have offered $4 million in incentives.
Although the axis of the earth protrudes through the main street of every town and city, there will not be enough wind turbines made to justify similar new manufacturing capacity in every locale that has put "green" economic development incentives in place. (The same may be said of biotechnology jobs, nano-technology jobs, stems cell research jobs, etc.) Early-in advantage is real. So, hats off to Colorado!
Colorado-made turbine blades will be created from supply chains that reach far beyond Colorado borders. Formulators of chemical coatings, spinners of fiberglass, producers of polyester resins, makers of cable, wire, aluminum sheeting, and other products will be sending their sales forces to Colorado from far and wide. We hope Coloradoans and Vestas will work together to exert a green production influence up those supply chains.
Regionally, the usual job multiplier effect is one primary manufacturing job supports up to ten ancillary jobs. And so it goes, creating "payback" for the local taxpayer created incentives.
As to why Vestas finally chose Colorado for blade making, it was probably not a one-off decision. However, it certainly did not hurt that Colorado's Governor Ritter has consistently taken a leadership role for clean energy. This would be in contrast to those states with Governors who's leadership style was more of being "climate skeptic" or promotion of "drilling our way out" of Peak Oil/Gas.
A welcomed upshot of the last 7 years is symbolized by this moment: it looks like payback time for climate and energy progressives. It is marking the end of a trail of deceitful, shallow reporting on climate issues by mass media, and denoting the end (hopefully) of widespread propagandistic manipulations of environmental science by Federal officials. State and local leaders with a faith in the future are getting results.
Via::Rocky Mountain News, "Wind-blade plant opens in Windsor" Image credit::Vestas website