DETROIT, March 22, 2011 — The Environmental Law and Policy Center’s new Michigan’s solar and wind energy supply chain study finds that 121 Michigan companies are engaged in the solar industry and 120 Michigan companies are part of the wind energy supply chain.
The solar and wind industries provide over 10,000 jobs in Michigan. The state’s manufacturers and research and development institutions benefit from policies that encourage growth in the clean energy sector.
“Michigan can be a clean energy manufacturing powerhouse, and smart policies have helped attract new solar and wind business investment here,” said Howard Learner, Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “From huge steel castings for wind turbines to ultra-thin solar shingles, clean energy equipment is made in Michigan. Old-line manufacturers are retooling to produce the solar and wind equipment for our future.”
The report profiles the wide variety of Michigan businesses that are part of the solar and wind supply chain. The state is home to huge manufacturers like Dow Corning and Hemlock Semiconductor, as well as over 100 small businesses such as Walker Miller Energy Services and Hot Watt Solar that serve a growing base of residential and commercial clients. These businesses are looking forward to sound policies that will support the domestic market for clean energy.
“Dow Corning and Hemlock Semiconductor are investing billions of dollars right here in Michigan to research, develop and manufacture materials critical to the solar and wind energy industries,” Said Jerrod Erpelding, spokesman for Dow Corning, “Our goal is to help alternative energy become an economically viable, sustainable energy option globally. Michigan is well positioned to play a major role in alternative energy with the assets and expertise already residing here.”
“United Solar is proud to be one of the hundreds of Michigan companies that are actively engaged in producing renewable products,” said Kim Paulson, Manager of Government and Policy, United Solar. “We make a difference by continuing to improve lives and reduce our impact on the planet.”
“URV USA will build the first major clean-tech foundry in the US in more than 40 years, securing domestic capacity for very heavy wind turbine components as well as other industrial iron castings. We have begun shipping top quality finished components to major US OEMs and look forward to developing the new industry materials standard in collaboration with the US Dept. of Energy, State of Michigan, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Michigan Technological University” stated Blaire H. Miller, EVP of URV USA, LLC
“As our energy landscape changes, we should look inward to find solutions that can continue to build on employing and growing the emerging green industry,” said Melanie Steele, VP of Operations for walker-Miller energy Service LLC. “Continuous efforts to expand the clean energy market will be vital to growing small businesses like Walker-Miller Energy Services LLC. Legislation and policies will enhance our ability to improve market perception and consequently, its acceptance.”
The report notes that strong public policies are key to growing any industry, and the wind and solar industries are no exception. Strengthening the Michigan renewable energy standard and enacting the proposed federal renewable energy standard would help grow the local economy by increasing Michigan’s export opportunities for renewable energy as well as manufactured wind and solar components and professional services.
To download a copy of the report, visit www.elpc.org/michiganenergy.