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Policy uncertainty is continuing to wreak havoc on the U.S. wind energy supply chain as yet another round of layoffs has been announced: LM Wind Power has eliminated 345 positions at its Grand Forks, N.D., blade manufacturing facility.

The layoffs include 200 full-time production workers, 15 administrative staff and 130 temporary workers, LM Wind Power said. The reductions in North Dakota are in addition to the 200+ layoffs that the company announced just last month for its Little Rock, Ark., facility.

As has been the case with many waves of layoffs announced throughout the industry over the past few months, the company cited slowing demand and the uncertainty surrounding the wind energy production tax credit (PTC) as the reasons for the workforce reductions.

According to LM Wind Power, U.S. demand is likely to fall 70% from 8.5 GW to 2.5 GW in 2013 - even if the PTC is renewed early next year.

“We have been compelled to make adjustments, but our headcount and capacity reductions are significantly less than the market decline at this stage,” the company said in a statement. “LM Wind Power will continue to retain a strong commercial, manufacturing and service presence in the Americas region, with over 740 employees at four strategic locations across Arkansas, North Dakota, Illinois and Texas.

“We are working closely with our customers and we are positive about the future, but will continue to have to reassess as long as the PTC remains in question,” the company added.


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