Firm backs $1 billion worth of wind projects in Colorado |

Firm backs $1 billion worth of wind projects in Colorado

Mark Jaffe
The Denver Post

When Vestas Wind Systems A/S – the world’s largest maker of wind turbines – decided to build a factory in Colorado, one of the first things it did was send some local hires to Europe.

Dennis Hicks, from Loveland, was in that group traveling to factories operated by the Danish company in the United Kingdom and Germany. “We were the brain trust,” joked Hicks, who spent months at the European plants to get ready for the March 2008 opening of the Windsor plant.

Hicks, 41, had come to his Vestas job after serving as a Marine protecting the U.S. Embassy in Burkina Faso and working in construction and as manager for a manufacturing company.

“The Vestas job looked like a real opportunity – a chance to move into the new, green economy,” Hicks said. “So I went for it.”

The startup of the $60 million Windsor blade-manufacturing facility was peppered with “growing pains and bumps,” said Hicks, who is now the day-shift supervisor for 123 production workers.

“Still, we’ve met our targets even as the company has raised them,” Hicks said.

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