Wind Energy Critical For Michigan Energy Economy

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today told a group of potential suppliers to the wind turbines component manufacturing industry that the wind energy sector is a critical component to Michigan’s strategy to grow its clean energy economy to create jobs.

The governor’s comments came at a symposium hosted by General Electric (GE) in cooperation with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

“From manufacturing to energy production, wind power holds great promise for Michigan,” Granholm said. “Growing the wind industry in Michigan is part of our ongoing efforts to diversify our economy, create jobs and make Michigan a leader in the clean energy economy.”

The governor said Michigan has been working a targeted strategy to increase jobs in the wind energy sector.

The strategy includes leveraging federal funds to invest in manufacturers that are diversifying and adding advanced manufacturing capabilities.

It also includes job-creating tax incentives, renewable energy Renaissance Zones and the state’s first-in-the-nation Centers of Energy Excellence program, which matches universities and national labs with the state to accelerate the commercialization of alternative energy technologies.

Michigan currently has four centers dedicated to wind energy manufacturing, including two in Eaton Rapids and one each in Holland and Midland.

To date, Michigan’s $78-million investment in its wind strategy has leveraged $31 million in federal investment with an additional $27 million pending. The investments are to create more than 5,300 jobs.

The symposium helped connect Michigan suppliers and product development partners with GE as it expands its network of suppliers for wind turbine components and research and development (R&D) programs.

Approximately 50 suppliers and university partners learned how they could potentially source components for GE’s industrial-scale wind turbines as well as partner in R&D efforts.