Wind-turbine maker Gamesa furloughing 165 Pa. workers

    A local manufacturer of wind turbines is laying off 165 workers at two Pennsylvania plants.

    A spokesman for Gamesa USA says the problem is structural.

    “This is not a Gamesa issue, this is an industry issue,” said David Rosenberg, Gamesa’s vice president of communications.

    Rosenberg says uncertainty around a soon-to-expire federal tax credit for wind farms is killing domestic demand.

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    “Most – if not all – manufacturers of wind turbines have very few projects or orders in the pipeline for 2013,” Rosenberg said.

    As a result, 92 workers at Gamesa’s Fairless Hills plant in Bucks County and another 73 at a plant in Western Pennsylvania will be out of work in two months time.

    Rosenberg says the layoffs are expected to be temporary.

    The key Production Tax Credit (PTC) expires at the end of this year. The PTC gives wind farm developers a 2.2-cent-a-kilowatt-hour tax credit for electricity produced.

    “The Production Tax Credit has been an important vehicle for allowing wind to become competitive against other forms of energy,” said Rosenberg.

    Rosenberg says the wind industry is lobbying Washington to get the tax credit renewed.

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