- Category: Wind
23 Aug 2012
- Published on Thursday, 23 August 2012 10:59
- Hits (1778)
California-based Clipper Windpower is joining the ranks of United States wind manufacturers who have announced lay-offs this month.According to North American Wind Power, the company has released a statement that they will not be shutting down operations but they are working on developing a sustainable business model and this requires a downsizing and refocusing of operations, reducing the company’s total workforce from 550 employees to 376.
Clipper Windpower has production and assembly facilities in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. While they have not confirmed where the layoffs will take place, workers at the plant told Radio Iowa they believe it’s around 75.
The downsizing comes merely weeks after Clipper Windpower was sold by original owner United Technologies Corp to a private equity firm Platinum Equity for an undisclosed amount.
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Clipper Windpower is the fourth wind manufacturer to announce layoffs or operational changes this month, a worrisome trend that the American Wind Energy Association is pinning on the impending expiration of the Production Tax Credit for Wind.
According to A.W.E.A., as of August 9, DMI Industries announced 167 workers to be laid off in Tulsa, Oklahoma with 216 at risk in West Fargo, North Dakota; in Little Rock, Arkansas, LM Wind Power has announced job reductions that will impact 94 full-time and 140 temporary workers and contractors; and in Dallas, Texas, Trinity Structural Towers has said it will shift reposition resources away from wind turbine tower manufacturing.
Big international companies such as Gamesa, NRG Systems, Vestas and Iberdrola Renewables have also announced layoffs in the American facilities this year citing unstable conditions.
According to A.W.E.A. the lack of a stable tax policy for wind is negatively impacting the wind industry in the United States. The P.T. C. has been the primary financial policy for the wind industry since 1992. Since then it has been extended in one- and two-year intervals or even allowed to expire.
Previously, when the expiration of the P.T.C. was allowed, the industry saw installations dropped between 73 and 93 percent with corresponding job losses.
The current PTC is set to expire at the end of 2012 and already the industry is seeing the recurrence of the boom-bust cycle it previously saw when the PTC was allowed to expire. An proposed extension of the extension of the P.T.C. passed through the senate on August 2 but it has yet to pass through the House. – K.R. Jalbuena