“A wind vision for new growth in Michigan,” finds Michigan energy consumers could save millions of dollars while Michigan farmers could reap millions in land lease payments by building new wind farms. The new report was released today by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Wind Energy Foundation (WEF) who held a roundtable discussion at Macomb Community College where students are learning skills that will enable them to secure well-paying jobs in the renewable energy industry. Of special interest is the finding that building a robust wind energy industry in the state can in particular revitalize add new wind manufacturing jobs to Michigan’s economy.
“With stable policy we can grow wind energy and we can save Michigan homeowners and businesses over $3.59 billion dollars,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “Because of American ingenuity, wind energy’s costs have dropped by 66 percent in just the last six years and by continuing to invest in wind over a billion dollars in savings can be passed onto consumers in Michigan and across the Great Lakes region.”
The data in the report came from calculations made using the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2015 Wind Vision report. The new data finds that wind energy can supply ample electricity to power more than 710,000 homes while adding more than $11.6 million dollars in annual property tax revenue. In addition, Michigan landowners would be paid by wind farm owners an additional $7.6 million in lease payments a year by 2030.
“Michigan’s previous renewable energy policies have put the state on a path for success,” said Beth Soholt, Executive Director of Wind on the Wires. “Public policies that encourage the development of more wind energy are a win-win. Local economies will grow from the jobs and economic development that come from new wind energy projects, and consumers will benefit from the clean, renewable, and low-cost energy wind can provide.”
In addition to revealing many of the enormous benefits laid out in the DOE’s Wind Vision report, A wind vision for new growth in Michigan highlights several successful case studies of wind power in the state:
- Ventower, based in Monroe and founded in 2008, the wind turbine manufacturer recently expanded its workforce by adding 51 new employees over the past year. Ventower recently supplied all 62 towers at the Consumers Energy Crosswinds Energy Park project in Tuscola County.
- The Gratiot Wind Farm, which created 200 full-time jobs during construction and 17 full-time permanent workers. $30 million in direct payments to Michigan contractors during construction.
- EDF Renewables Services, Inc. employs 25 full-time O&M workers, all of whom live in-state and many of which were trained at local community colleges and technical schools.
Up to 4,000 jobs are supported by wind power today in Michigan, including well-paying manufacturing jobs at 33 factories producing wind power parts and supplies around the state. Wind energy has already attracted $2.9 billion in capital investment to Michigan and rural landowners currently receive $4.6 million a year in land lease payments.