The wind industry is cranking up its bullhorn to publicize the economic toll of opposition to its federal subsidy.
As the 20-year-old wind production tax credit heads toward expiration this year, turbine manufacturing companies released another wave of downsizing announcements this week, including one in Texas.
Trinity Structural Towers, a Dallas-based supplier of steel turbine parts, announced it will shrink its wind tower manufacturing division, according to the American Wind Energy Association trade group. Wind tower manufacturer DMI Industries announced it would sell or close its two facilities in North Dakota and Oklahoma, where about 380 workers are employed.
Little Rock-based LM Wind Power revealed plans to cut 94 full-time employees and 140 temporary workers, according to AWEA.
The impending cuts “represent what’s happening and will continue to happen across the country in the U.S. wind industry if these businesses are not provided the policy certainty they need to continue to invest in America and its workers,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode in a written statement.
The American Wind Energy Association chronicled the layoff notices from companies across the wind power supply chain in a press release Thursday. The federal Production Tax Credit gives wind power generators 2.2 cents for every megawatt they supply, but it is slated to end Dec. 31.
There has been bipartisan support for extending the subsidy, which has fueled the expansion of wind farms across the country. But word of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s opposition has intensified debate and raised uncertainty about the tax credit’s future.