Michigan has landed a new wind turbine manufacturer that will turn to dozens of former auto industry suppliers to build parts that will be assembled in Saginaw. Northern Power Systems says it will be the first turbine manufacturer that uses only U-S-made parts.
Traverse City-based Heritage Sustainable Energy, which operates a wind farm in the western Upper Peninsula, expects to buy some of the first state-of-the-art turbines. Martin Lagina says the entire arrangement represents a budding new homegrown industry for the state.
"The parts are going to be made in Michigan," he says. "It's going to be assembled in Michigan by Michigan labor, and then it's going to be shipped by Michigan people to a Michigan location, and be assembled and create jobs in that spot, too. It is, in any sense of the word, 'Pure Michigan.'"
Lagina's company will sell much of its power to Consumers Energy. Consumers officials say the wind-generated electricity will help the utility meet state renewable energy mandates.
Governor Granholm praised the new venture Tuesday, saying the state's two-year old renewable energy law helped create demand for wind-generated electricity.
"Once you set up a mandate of getting 10 percent of our energy from renewable systems then the partners go to work," she says.
State and company officials say the new technology will soon make renewable energy cost-competitive with electricity generated by coal plants.