An Atypical Friday at Merrill Technologies in Saginaw, Michigan

I had a very interesting Friday morning: I crawled to the top of a wind turbine with Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. The wind turbine-crawl happened just after Bob Yackel, the CEO of Merrill Technologies, unveiled the first large-scale wind turbines manufactured in Michigan.

At the unveiling ceremony, I heard the incredible story of Merrill Technologies, a family business in Michigan that makes components for wind turbines and is thriving in the wind energy manufacturing sector.

Merrill Technologies, with support from the state and federal government – including $22 million in tax credits from the Recovery Act – is expanding its operation and creating jobs.

It was a great day to be back in my home state and see how the Recovery Act is boosting the local economy as well as our manufacturing industry. According to Merrill Technologies, they have already saved or created 40 jobs and are expecting to add 125 workers in 2011 when production at the facility ramps up.

Michigan is helping the U.S. compete in the clean wind power economy, and I’m very proud of my home state. Merrill Technologies is a great example of how public-private partnerships that promote clean energy technologies can create jobs and increase economic growth.

Statement by Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Unveiling of First-Ever Large-Scale Wind Turbine Manufactured in Michigan

Recovery Act investment is creating jobs, promoting U.S. economic competitiveness

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu issued the following statement on today’s unveiling by Merrill Technologies Group and Northern Power Systems of the first-ever utility-scale wind turbine manufactured and assembled in Michigan. Merrill Technologies’ Saginaw, Michigan manufacturing facility that supplied parts for the wind turbine was funded in part under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus.

"Today’s announcement in Saginaw shows what’s possible when the public and private sector come together to invest in the next generation of U.S manufacturing," said Secretary Chu. "These investments under the Recovery Act are helping to ensure that Michigan stays at the forefront of America’s clean energy economy for years to come."


Under the Recovery Act, Merrill Technologies Group received a $22 million 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit to expand its production facilities to manufacture wind turbine nacelles, which are the parts of the turbines that sit above the tower and house the engine and other key turbine components. The company has invested $73 million in its Saginaw, Michigan facility to produce these wind turbine components for Northern Power Systems’ new 2.2 megawatt utility-scale wind turbine.

Merrill Technologies is also using $3 million awarded through the Michigan Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing (CEAM) program to purchase equipment for manufacturing commercial-sized wind turbine systems. The CEAM program was funded under the Recovery Act through the Department of Energy’s State Energy Program. According to the company, they have already saved or created 40 jobs and are expecting to add 125 workers in 2011 when production at the facility ramps up.

Kerry Duggan is a Program Advisor for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.