Vestas believes the answer to the world's energy needs is "blowin' in the wind." Vestas Wind Systems and its subsidiaries manufacture and sell land-based and offshore wind turbines used to produce electricity. In all, Vestas has installed more than 47,000 wind turbines in more than 70 countries. Besides installation, Vestas, the world's largest manufacturer of wind turbines, also maintains more than 21,500 turbines with a capacity of 38,000 MW, for customers that include more than 200 energy and utility companies. Vestas has served EDP Renováveis, E.ON, and in the US, Enel North America and Noble Environmental Power. Vestas generates more than 50% of its sales in Europe and Africa.
Vestas' revenue fell 18% in 2011 compared with 2010. Challenges included problems with commissioning a new generator factory in Germany and poor weather that delayed some turbine installation projects.
The company's strategy includes focusing on offshore wind power, which entails the largest development project in the Vestas' history, the new V164-7.0 megawatt offshore turbine, which DONG Energy has ordered for testing. Another important part of Vestas' strategy is the Key Account Management group, which includes the appointment of account managers for all key customers. The company credits the group with obtaining an agreement for about 2,000 MW with EDF. The group also scored a 550-plus MW order from E.ON. The company has additionally established the Global Solutions and Services group for pre-sales and aftermarket services and a Power Plant Solutions group to provide planning and other services for the integration of wind energy with the power grid.
Vestas had earlier warned that failure to extend the wind-production tax credit in the US could result in the loss of about 1,600 jobs in its US operations. After Congress failed to take measures that would have prevented the tax credit from expiring, Vestas announced cuts of about 3% of its 3,000-employee workforce in North America. Throughout its operations worldwide, Vestas plans to cut more than 2,330 positions as it consolidates manufacturing and support functions.
Vestas, which began manufacturing wind turbines in 1979, traces its roots back to the 19th century.