$15 million Available For Michigan Manufactures To Diversify

By: Tiffany Teasley Email
By: Tiffany Teasley Email

Gov.Granholm says the Michigan Green Jobs Report names renewable energy as the fastest growing sector in the state, and says the federal government sees potential too.

"The Department of Energy has said that Michigan is in the top 5 states for wind energy production, because of the wind resources we have off of the Great Lakes," Granholm said.

Now the Governor says stimulus money is available for small manufactures and auto suppliers employing less than 500 people so they can apply for grants to build renewable resources like wind turbines, solar panels.

" The state is putting out $15 million to enable these small firms to diversify in the area of renewable energy or energy efficiency," Granholm said.

But does the skill set of auto workers really translate to renewable energy? The Governor says yes.

"Wind turbines have drive trains, they've got gear boxes, they've got brakes, no one knows drive trains, gear boxes, and brakes like we do," Granholm said.

Granholm also says all 28 community colleges in the state have added capacity for training in renewable energy, but there was no mention of ethanol plants or E85 pumps, something the Governor touted toughly in years passed, we asked her why.

"First generation ethanol from feedstock like corn, has shown itself to have some problems," Granholm said.

Which begs the question are these proposals sustainable?, Hugh McDiarmid of the Michigan Environmental Council says Ethanol was simply overestimated, and it's just one piece of the energy puzzle.

"We moved to fast on it in years past and had too high hopes for it, and there were some unintended consequences, we've pulled back from that now, and I think we a have a more realistic view," McDiarmid said.

To apply for the grant visit michigan.gov/energyoffice.

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