Governor Granholm, MEDC Announce Support for Alternative Energy Project in Manistee, 141 New Jobs

Contact: Bridget Beckman, MEDC (517) 335-4590

October 10, 2008

Mariah Power and MasTech partner to manufacture wind-power system

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced Nevada-based Mariah Power and Michigan-based MasTech will partner on a $2.2 million wind-power project in Manistee County.  The companies are working together to mass produce the Windspire®, an affordable and easy-to-use wind-power system designed for homes and businesses.  The project is expected to create 141 new jobs and $1.8 million in new capital investment.

"We are partnering with innovative companies like MasTech and Mariah Power to diversify Michigan's economy and grow our alternative energy sector," Granholm said.  "This project will create new energy jobs in northern Michigan and boost our leadership in the production of renewable energy to end our nation's dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil."

A $400,000 grant is being made available by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to support the project.  The grant will be used to assist MasTech with financing equipment needed to produce the Windspire®, which connects directly to the building power supply, offsetting electricity use and reducing energy costs.  The Windspire® can produce enough energy to power 25 percent of the average home.

"The community of Manistee is simply fantastic," Mariah Power CEO Mike Hess said.  "It pulled together the city and county of Manistee with MasTech and the state of Michigan to create an opportunity that will enrich the local economy.  They met every challenge we gave them, and then some, to further this partnership.  We are happy to become a part of the Manistee family and to work with MasTech to create a great renewable energy future."

The MEDC administers the state's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  These funds are used to provide grants and loans to eligible counties, cities, villages and townships - typically those with populations less than 50,000 - for economic development, community development and housing projects.  Larger communities receive block grant funds directly from the federal government.

"We are very excited about this opportunity to bring these jobs to Manistee County and would like to thank all of the local and state agencies that have worked so hard to make this venture a reality," said John Holcomb of MasTech Manufacturing.  "We consider this one of those rare opportunities that benefits not only the companies involved but also the community and even the world by reducing carbon-fueled power consumption."

Based in Reno, Nevada, Mariah Power provides low-cost, low-noise, attractive wind-power appliances for use with residential, business, and commercial buildings.  The company's patented technology maximizes energy conversion from wind to electric power, regardless of changing wind speed and direction.  The company's first vertical axis wind-power appliance, Windspire®, is now available for shipment.  For more information, visit

MasTech Manufacturing was formed in 2004 as the manufacturing arm of Troy-based MasTech Inc. MasTech Manufacturing provides in-house, engineering, fabrication, machining, assembly, testing, and installation of all types of equipment.  With over 100 years of combined manufacturing experience, the MasTech team supplies modern, innovative solutions to even the most complex manufacturing problems.

"We're proud to partner with Manistee County to assist MasTech and Mariah Power in bringing affordable wind-power technology to market," MEDC President and CEO James Epolito said.  "This grant will allow both companies to invest and create high-tech jobs in the state."

"Manufacturing is alive, well and getting stronger in Manistee County," Manistee-based Alliance for Economic Success Executive Director Renee Ihlenfeldt said.  "This partnership between Mariah Power and MasTech is a win for everyone, Mariah Power, MasTech, Manistee County and the state of Michigan.  Mariah Power has teamed with a best-of-class manufacturer, and northern Michigan is getting in on the ground floor of a new leading-edge industry.  We will celebrate this win and immediately look for ways to leverage this industry to bring additional business and jobs to our area."

There are 1,655 local governments within the state eligible to apply for CDBG funds administered by the MEDC.  Projects are approved contingent upon compliance with state and federal requirements.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.  For more information on MEDC initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at

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