Granholm Says Solar Energy Developments Make Michigan Shine

Contact: Tiffany Brown 517-335-6397

October 9, 2009

In radio address, governor says momentum continues for green manufacturing in state

LANSING - In her weekly radio address, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today said three solar energy developments this week keep the momentum going for transforming Michigan into a center for green manufacturing.

"On Tuesday, we announced that two companies will build solar panel manufacturing facilities in Michigan," Granholm said.  "The first is Clairvoyant Energy, which will invest $857 million to convert part of Ford's former Wixom Assembly plant in Oakland County to a solar panel plant.  The second company is Suniva which will invest $250 million in a new solar manufacturing facility in Saginaw County.  Together, Clairvoyant and Suniva are investing more than $1.1 billion in Michigan and hiring 1,250 workers."

"On Monday, Dow Chemical unveiled its newest thing under the sun, the Powerhouse™ Solar Shingle," Granholm continued.  "These are solar panels that look like shingles.  While Dow has not yet determined where it's going to mass-produce the shingles, Michigan is certainly on the list."

Granholm added that Xtreme Power, a company that builds stationary battery systems to store solar and wind energy, also is investing in the former Wixom Assembly plant, transforming a former auto plant into the largest renewable energy park in the nation.  Xtreme will invest $475 million in Wixom and create 2,500 jobs.

"This week's announcements about three clean-energy companies choosing Michigan for their facilities keeps the momentum going for transforming our state into a center for green manufacturing," Granholm said.  "These companies are going to make solar panels and other clean- energy products right here in Michigan.  It's good news and news that should make all of us feel like we're walking on sunshine."

The governor's weekly radio address is released each Friday morning and may be heard on broadcast stations across the state.  The address is available on the governor's Web site at ( www.michigan.gov/gov ) for download, together with a clip of the quote above.  The radio address is also 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.

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
Radio Address - Solar Energy

Full:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov218Full_296443_7.mp3
Edited:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov218Edit_296446_7.mp3
Quote:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov218Quote_296447_7.mp3

Hello, this is Governor Jennifer Granholm.

This week in Michigan, despite our difficulties over the budget, we've actually been walking on sunshine.  That's because there were three positive developments involving solar energy in our state.

On Tuesday, we announced that two companies will build solar panel manufacturing facilities in Michigan.  The first is Clairvoyant Energy, which will invest $857 million to convert part of Ford's former Wixom Assembly plant in Oakland County to a solar panel plant.  Clairvoyant plans to hire 750 people at Wixom.

The second company is Suniva.  Suniva will invest $250 million in a new solar manufacturing facility in Saginaw County, and they will create 500 new jobs.  So together, Clairvoyant and Suniva are investing more than $1.1 billion in Michigan and hiring 1,250 workers.

But there's more good news.  On Monday, Dow Chemical unveiled its newest thing under the sun, the Powerhouse solar shingles.  These are solar panels that look like shingles, and they can be easily integrated with regular roofing shingles.  This will allow you to turn the rooftop of your home into your own solar energy powerhouse.  While Dow has not yet determined where it's going to mass-produce the shingles, Michigan is certainly on the list of possible sites.

And there's still more good news.  Xtreme Power is a company that builds stationary battery systems to store solar and wind energy.  Together with Clairvoyant Energy, Xtreme Power is also investing in the former Wixom Assembly plant, transforming a former auto plant into the largest renewable energy park in the nation.  Xtreme will invest $475 million in Wixom, and it'll create 2,500 jobs.

So why are companies like Xtreme Power and Clairvoyant Energy and Suniva taking a shine to Michigan? The reasons are many.

Michigan offers a skilled workforce, manufacturing capacity and innovative tax incentives.  We've got great universities involved in cutting-edge technology.  And we've created excellent public-private partnerships involving federal, state and local governments. 

The public-private partnerships are particularly important.  Because to compete with companies and governments overseas, it's crucial that we work together.  Michigan was competing against other states and even a foreign nation for the Suniva, Clairvoyant and Xtreme Power facilities.  Because of a bipartisan commitment among government leaders, Michigan was the winner for these facilities and the thousands of jobs that they'll bring.

This week's announcements about the three clean-energy companies choosing Michigan for their facilities keeps the momentum going for transforming our state into a center for green manufacturing.  These companies are going to make the solar panels and other clean-energy products right here in Michigan.  It's good news and news that should make all of us feel like we're walking on sunshine.     

Thank you for listening.

# # #