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Wind turbine company idles Minn. factory

PIPESTONE, Minn. (AP) -- The demand for wind energy in the U.S. has declined sharply, causing a southwestern Minnesota turbine manufacturer to lay off more than 100 employees.

The Suzlon Group once employed 500 people at its Pipestone factory. Because the once-booming wind energy market is much calmer, the factory most recently had 110 employees.

Suzlon says it will idle the Pipestone plant by the end of the year. The India company invested $8.5 million four years ago to open its first blade factory in southwestern Minnesota.

The Star Tribune says wind turbine installations for Suzlon have dropped 70 percent in the first half of the year.