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Governor Granholm Visits Wind Energy Manufacturing Facility in Merrill

March 9, 2010

Recovery Act funding enables Merrill Tool and Machine to diversify, create jobs

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today visited a Merrill company, near Saginaw, that is diversifying into wind-energy manufacturing and creating jobs through assistance from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act).

Merrill Tool and Machine is using a grant and an advanced-energy manufacturing tax credit (also called a 48c tax credit) funded through the Recovery Act to diversify into manufacturing and assemble large-scale, advanced composite wind turbine blades and system components.

"The Merrill story is a perfect example of what we can accomplish when everyone pulls in the same direction," Granholm said.  "Recovery Act funding is assisting our ongoing efforts at the state level to diversify Michigan's economy and create new jobs in clean-energy manufacturing.  I want to thank the Michigan congressional delegation for making success stories like Merrill possible through their work on the 48c tax credit."  

In January, the White House announced Merrill had won a $22 million advanced-energy manufacturing tax credit (48c tax credit) funded through the Recovery Act.  This allowed Merrill to purchase the advanced-manufacturing equipment necessary to produce utility-scale 2.2 MW wind turbine components for Northern Power.

Last year, the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth awarded Merrill $3 million in Recovery Act funds to develop, manufacture and test prototypes of the larger turbine components, with full production expected to begin in July 2010.

This recent grant builds on previous state assistance.  In 2005, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation supported a brownfield single business tax credit for Merrill, which allowed the company to build a $2.95 million manufacturing facility and create or retain 35 manufacturing jobs.

The Recovery Act has provided $2.3 billion in advanced-energy manufacturing tax credits to 183 clean-energy manufacturing projects in 43 states.  The investment tax credits, worth up to 30 percent of each planned project, will leverage private capital for a total investment of nearly $7.7 billion in high-tech manufacturing in the United States.

Merrill is among 12 Michigan companies that were awarded approximately $242 million in 48c tax credits.  The others are Dow Chemical in Midland, Dow Corning in Hemlock, Energetx Composites in Holland, Great Lakes Industry in Jackson, Guardian Industries in Carleton, Hemlock Semiconductor in Hemlock, ilumisys, Inc. in Troy, Rogers Foam Automotive in Flint, Stirling Energy Systems in Livonia, United Solar Ovonic in Auburn Hills, and VenTower Industries in Monroe.

Michigan companies received more than 10 percent of the total tax credits awarded nationally, with Hemlock Semiconductor receiving one of the largest overall tax credits of $141.8 million.  The tax credits are estimated to trigger more than $750 million in private-sector investment in Michigan.

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