Gamesa plans layoff at wind turbine plant despite PTC extension
Gamesa officials say it’s too soon to determine if the extension of the Production Tax Credit will spur enough wind development to bring those workers back as orders start to come in.
Despite the good news from Washington this week on the wind production tax credit, Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa is still planning to lay off 92 workers at its plant in Pennsylvania's Cambria County early this year.
The company said it’s too soon to determine if the extension of the Production Tax Credit will spur enough wind development to bring those workers back as orders start to come in.
“We are grateful that Congress recognizes the vital role that American wind plays in energy generation and job creation. Although we don’t expect an immediate impact, the approved extension for the production tax credit, which now applies to projects that start construction in 2013, should provide some policy certainty to the industry and help to restart projects that either had been postponed or canceled,” David Rosenberg, Gamesa’s vice president of marketing. said in a statement. “The last year of uncertainty over the PTC already has cost thousands of American jobs.”
Some of those job losses were felt at Gamesa's Pennsylvania operations. Its facility in Ebensburg had 227 employees at full production several years ago. Last summer, it laid off 73 people and in November announced it will lay off another 92 early this year. Another plant in Bucks County laid of 92 workers last year.
“Although not irreparable, recovery in 2013 will be slow, even with the PTC extension,” Rosenberg said. “Because wind farms usually need 12 to 18 months for development, it will still be nearly two years before the industry sees significant recovery, as developers recall teams to restart dormant projects. Currently, there is no change in status at Gamesa’s U.S. factories.”
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