FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012
CONTACT: Mark Fisk, Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs, (517) 333-1606
Lindsay North, American Wind Energy Association, (202) 383-2508EAST
LANSING – The American Wind Energy Association today announced its endorsement of the Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs ballot proposal, which will increase Michigan’s renewable energy standard to 25 percent by 2025 if approved by voters on Nov. 6.
AWEA is the national trade association of America’s wind industry, representing 2,000 member companies including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers. Its membership list includes 70 businesses in Michigan.
“A wind turbine has more than 8,000 parts that can be built in Michigan,” said Rob Gramlich, AWEA’s senior vice president for public policy and a Michigan native. “More than 30 states across the nation have renewable energy standards similar to Michigan’s ballot proposal. They are creating jobs in their local communities as well as clean, homegrown power. If these states can do it, Michigan can, too.”
According to a recent report by Michigan State University economists and academics, the 25 by 2025 proposal will create jobs and generate $10.3 billion of private investment in Michigan’s economy.
It will spark development of more wind energy in Michigan, which as of July 1, 2012 had 487 megawatts of wind-powered electrical generating capacity online, with enough wind farms currently under construction to double that by the end of the year.
Passage of the ballot proposal is expected to drive development of another 4,500 megawatts of wind power in Michigan, a state with one of the top 20 wind resource potentials in the country.
It will also continue the growth of wind factory jobs in Michigan, which has fast become a manufacturing powerhouse for the industry. At least 31 businesses produced wind components in Michigan at the start of 2012 and six more had been announced. For example, wind turbines are manufactured in Saginaw, and wind towers are now being made on a former brownfield site in Monroe.
In a report by President George W. Bush’s administration on how wind can generate 20 percent of America’s electricity by 2030, Michigan appears in the top category of job creation due to the excellent fit between the skills and technologies available in Michigan and the needs of wind turbine manufacturing.
“A commitment to wind energy in Michigan will help us to continue our company’s growth so that we can generate more of the jobs needed to help diversify the state’s automotive-dependent economy,” said Don Naab, CEO of Danotek Motion Technologies of Canton.
“At Danotek we are bringing together an industry-leading team of technical experts to develop highly efficient and reliable permanent magnet generators for the global wind industry,” Naab explained. “Our technology is helping to make wind energy more competitive by both reducing the equipment cost, and increasing the amount of energy that each wind turbine can extract from available wind resources.”
“This November is the time to make a difference, and support Michigan’s proposed increase of our renewable energy standard,” said Marc Strandquist, CEO of Dokka Fasteners Inc., of Auburn Hills.
Dokka was founded in 2011 to be the most advanced hot forming fastener manufacturer serving the wind turbine industry in North America. So far the company has hired over 50 people, more than half of them skilled workers who were previously unemployed.
Strengthening the state renewable energy standard would forward the company’s plan for another 50 hires, Strandquist said. “Clean, domestic and safe energy is the backbone of Michigan’s renewable energy standard. The new renewable energy standard will create jobs, economic growth and a future for other manufacturing companies in Michigan similar to Dokka.”
The Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs proposal has been endorsed by a wide range of groups, including more than 230 Michigan businesses, prominent Republican and Democratic leaders, unions, health professionals such as the Michigan Nurses Association, environmental groups, faith leaders and more.
“This important proposal will give a much-needed shot in the arm to Michigan’s manufacturing sector, helping it diversify even more into the renewable energy industry and create Michigan jobs,” said AWEA’s Gramlich. “AWEA fully endorses this proposal, and we’re encouraging all those in the wind industry supply chain in Michigan to become engaged in the effort.”
More information about Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs can be found at www.mienergymijobs.com.
Follow the initiative on Twitter @MIEnergyMIJobs or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MIEnergyMIJobs.