"We looked for businesses that can produce the next generation of renewable energy systems and the components such as turbines, blades, and solar technology," says Stanley 'Skip' Pruss, director of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG), which oversaw the application process. "The projects must be able to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions."
The companies obtaining grants for wind turbine blade manufacture are:
- Astraeus Wind Energy Inc located in Eaton Rapids – $7 million to manufacture large scale composite wind turbine blades and hub-related components;
- Energetx Composites LLC located in Holland – $3.5 million to manufacture large scale composite wind turbine blades;
- Merrill Technologies Group located in Saginaw – $3 million to manufacture large-scale composite wind turbine blades and system components.
Two further companies also obtained funding:
- Loc Performance Products Inc located in Plymouth – $1.5 million to manufacture planetary gears and gearboxes for utility scale wind turbines; and
- LUMA Resources LLC located in Rochester Hills – $.5 million to manufacture products for the residential photovoltaic solar market.
The Recovery Act funds, which will enable the companies to create and retain 713 jobs over the next two years, were provided to the state through the State Energy Program.
"Providing Recovery Act funds to help Michigan's small manufacturers diversify into renewable energy will help create jobs and strengthen our economy by building on our natural strength – our world-class manufacturing tradition," said Governor Jennifer M. Granholm Granholm. "These grants also will help us meet our energyg oals by expanding production of energy from renewable sources like wind and solar."
Any for-profit business physically located in Michigan with 500 or fewer full-time or equivalent employees was eligible to apply for the grants. The five companies receiving grants were among nearly 80 companies which submitted applications to DELEG.