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Granholm Says Wind Energy Will Spur Economic Diversification, Job Growth

September 11, 2007

Governor Speaks to Wind Energy Conference at Michigan State University

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm told participants in the Wind Energy Conference: Manufacturing and Developing Wind Energy Systems in Michigan, held today at Michigan State University, that renewable energy projects will help re-build Michigan's economy and create jobs in the state.

"Michigan is poised to be a leader in wind energy by harvesting the wind as a renewable energy source for our state and by producing the components that will make wind a reliable energy source across the country," Granholm said.  "We have incredible alternative energy resources in Michigan - from our lakes, farmland and forests to our industrial capability to our world class intellectual and R&D talent."

Granholm said she has set in motion a comprehensive economic plan to diversify the state's economy with a focus on alternative energy.  She noted that companies like Hemlock Semiconductor and United Solar Ovonic are investing in Michigan and creating jobs and making Michigan a leader in solar panels, too.  She also highlighted the major wind energy announcement made in partnership with John Deere and Wolverine Power of the Harvest Wind Farm in Huron County. The project is a $90 million investment creating 70 new jobs, and it includes 32 turbines that will produce over 52 megawatts of wind power - enough to power 15,000 Michigan homes.  Granholm said that Michigan would like to have on the order of 1,100 wind turbines by 2015, producing 8,500 new jobs.

"In the 20th century, Michigan was the state that put the nation and world on wheels.  In the 21st century, we want to be the state that leads our nation to sustainable energy independence," Granholm said.  "Michigan is taking a two-pronged approach - we want to use more renewable energy sources in Michigan, and we want to be the source of the renewable energy infrastructure that other states and nations will need."

This year, in her 2007 State of the State address, Governor Granholm presented the outline of Michigan's strategy in renewable and alternative energy.  This strategy includes new ethanol fueling stations, targeted alternative energy investments, and new incentives such as expanding the tax-free renewable energy renaissance zones to include wind system manufacturing.  The regulatory cornerstone to this growth is a renewable portfolio standard - Michigan is poised to enact a robust, mandatory renewable portfolio standard, and wind energy is a key component.

In addition to working with lawmakers to develop the state's renewable portfolio standard and expand our alternative energy renaissance zones to include wind and solar developers, Granholm has proposed investing over $100 million over the next three years to grow this specific sector of Michigan's economy.

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