The laid-off workers will be paid until Nov. 19, said company spokeswoman Melanie Forbrick.
The wind-energy industry projects that demand will fall about 90 percent from an artificially high 6,000 turbines installed in 2012 over the next two or three years, Forbrick
"The PTC (tax credit) brought this artificial peak, and on top of that, gas prices, which are traditionally projected at $4 to $5 per million BTUs, have stabilized at about $2 per million BTU and, of course, the economy is still lagging," Forbrick
"So it's a perfect storm of events beyond our control."
believes in the long-term future of wind power.
The industry expects construction to rebound later in the decade to a more normal level of about 2,000 turbines per year, not including the tax credit and with only slightly higher natural gas prices.
The company has spent $100?million in recent years building manufacturing capacity in the United States, Forbrick
said, and thinks the business remains a good one in the longer term.
The company overall is cutting about 615 of its wind energy workforce of roughly 1,600.
The turbine blade plant in Fort Madison, Iowa, will lose about 400 workers, and the headquarters in Orlando, Fla., will lost about 60 workers, Forbrick
"These decisions are never easy, but the adjustments are necessary," Forbrick
The Hutchinson Siemens plant won't automatically rehire the 300 staff and contractors it laid off in the fall, Siemens spokeswoman Melanie Forbrick wrote in an e-mail.
The Hutchinson plant benefited when many developers pulled their projects forward into 2012, and there might not be enough new work in the pipeline to require additional workers, she