Wind Turbine Maker Vestas Adding 1,350 Colo. Jobs

Brighton Gets Big Deal

Just months after opening its first Colorado manufacturing plant in Windsor, a Denmark company specializing in modern energy solutions is ready to form it's first American cluster operation, adding two new plants in Brighton.

"And 2,450 new jobs. That should deserve a round of applause," said Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D).

Ritter made the announcement Friday at the Capitol.

Vestas will build a $180 million wind blade manufacturing plant to employ 650 people and another facility to produce the cylindrical turbine housing units, called nacelles, that will employ 700.

Ritter said Vestas was drawn to Colorado instead of Ohio or Texas because of Colorado's educated, skilled, green-conscious workforce.

"The decision by Vestas to establish a major operation in Brighton is our Olympic gold medal," said Brighton mayor Jan Pawlowski. "Most people work elsewhere. Seventy-percent of the people drive out of Brighton. So this is an opportunity for us to keep our people at home. And we're really tickled to have that."

Brighton must still annex 112 acres to complete the deal.

Pawlowski said that process will start Sept. 1 and that her city beat out Fort Collins, Loveland and Englewood to get the Vestas plants.

Windsor was the Danish company's primary Colorado facility. It opened in March of this year.

The location for the new facilities is north of Brighton in what is now unincorporated Weld county near county roads 27 and 4.

Ritter said his economic development team started working on the Vestas deal last summer.

"This is not the last time we'll be standing in front of you talking about the new energy economy and growth in Colorado. We think there's a lot to come and a lot to come fairly quickly," said Economic Development Director Don Elliman.

"Eventually we'll see, I think, the same thing with respect to solar," Ritter said.