Granholm: Wind Manufacturing Creating Jobs, Diversifying Economy

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 10, 2010

In radio address, governor says Michigan well-positioned for wind turbine production 

LANSING - In her weekly radio address, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today said developing Michigan's wind manufacturing sector is part of continuing efforts to diversify the state's economy and create jobs. 

"This week I was pleased to announce an agreement between Consumers Energy and Heritage Sustainable Energy that's going to lead to the first large-scale production of utility-scale wind turbines fully assembled in Michigan," Granholm said.  "Making wind turbines is a natural for Michigan given our expertise in advanced manufacturing and the many auto suppliers who are looking to diversify into other lines of business." 

"We've been able to help Michigan businesses diversify into high-growth, clean energy industries through the state's Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing program," Granholm continued.  "That program, which is funded by the federal Recovery Act, has allowed us to provide grants to Michigan companies to invest in wind, solar and other clean energy manufacturing." 

"The results are new investment in Michigan, new clean energy jobs and a more diversified state economy," Granholm said.  "Right now there are 17 wind manufacturing companies in the state, which represent $270 million in investment and more than 5,600 jobs.  And further job growth is on the horizon.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Michigan is projected to create more than 30,000 jobs in the wind manufacturing sector alone by 2030." 

"The agreement announced this week between Consumers Energy and Heritage Sustainable Energy helps to solidify Michigan's emerging leadership in wind manufacturing," Granholm said.  "Demand will soon pick up for wind turbines and when it does, Michigan will be one of the best-positioned states in the country to take advantage of it." 

The governor's weekly radio address is released each Friday and may be heard on broadcast stations across the state.  The address is available for download on the governor's Web site at www.michigan.gov/gov together with a clip of the quote above.  The radio address also is available as a podcast on the Web site as well as on iTunes and via RSS feed for general distribution to personal MP3 players and home computers.  Links to the audio files and text of today's address follow. 

Full:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov279Full_340438_7.mp3

Edited:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov279Edit_340439_7.mp3

Quote:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov279Quote_340440_7.mp3

 

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm

Radio Address: Wind Energy

December 10, 2010 

Hello, this is Governor Jennifer Granholm. 

Wind power can create both electricity and jobs.  This week I was pleased to announce an agreement between Consumers Energy and Heritage Sustainable Energy that's going to lead to the first large-scale production of utility-scale wind turbines fully assembled in Michigan. 

Heritage Sustainable Energy, which is based in Traverse City, is going to build a wind farm in Delta County in the Upper Peninsula that'll create 80 jobs.  Heritage will then sell the power it generates to Consumers Energy. 

The wind turbines for the wind farm will be built by Northern Power Systems at its Saginaw facility where it'll increase its workforce to 137 over the next four years.  Northern Power plans to use many Michigan suppliers for wind turbine components.  

Developing Michigan's wind manufacturing sector is part of our continuing efforts to diversify the state's economy and create jobs.  Making wind turbines is a natural for Michigan given our expertise in advanced manufacturing and the many auto suppliers who are looking to diversify into other lines of business. 

We've been able to help Michigan businesses diversify into high-growth, clean energy industries through the state's Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing program.  That program, which is funded by the federal Recovery Act, has allowed us to provide grants to Michigan companies to invest in wind, solar and other clean energy manufacturing. 

An example is Merrill Technologies Group which will be a supplier to Northern Power to make those big wind turbines.  A year ago Merrill was awarded a $3 million grant through the Clean Energy Advanced Manufacturing program to purchase some of the equipment needed to build large-scale wind turbines.  Merrill has since created an entire supply chain of Michigan companies to manufacture turbine components. 

The results are a new investment in Michigan, new clean energy jobs and a more diversified state economy.  Plus, the development of clean, renewable energy that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. 

Wind manufacturing is growing in Michigan.  Right now there are 17 wind manufacturing companies in the state, which represent $270 million in investment and more than 5,600 jobs.  

And further job growth is on the horizon.  This is just the beginning.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Michigan is projected to create more than 30,000 jobs in the wind manufacturing sector alone by the year 2030. 

The agreement announced this week between Consumers Energy and Heritage Sustainable Energy helps to solidify Michigan's emerging leadership in wind manufacturing.  Demand will soon pick up for wind turbines.  And when it does, Michigan will be one of the best-positioned states in the country to take advantage of it. 

Thank you for listening. 

# # #