Invenergy Wind announced Tuesday that it has begun construction of a 30,000-acre wind project in Gratiot County.
Officials said that will contribute to the local economy by providing jobs, millions of dollars in yearly tax revenue to the county and local municipalities, and payments to landowners.
Through a 20-year agreement with Detroit Edison, the project will bring clean, renewable energy to the people of Michigan and help the state meet its Renewable Portfolio Standard.
The Gratiot County wind farm will bring significant, long-term economic and environmental benefits to the people of central Michigan, said Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
Granholm said the states clean energy plan is expected to bring 30,000 jobs to Michigan by 2030.
Since passage of the states renewable energy standard in 2008, more than 17 companies, including Invenergy, have launched wind energy-related businesses in Michigan.
This wind farm is the result of a great alliance between citizens, local business and community leaders, and local and state officials, who joined together to support Invenergy in our efforts to provide renewable energy and contribute to the areas economic development, said Jim Shield, Invenergys executive vice president of development.
Invenergy expects turbines to be delivered in the spring of 2011, with construction slated for completion in late 2011.
Livonia Michigan-based Aristeo Construction will perform all civil, concrete and erection phases for the project.
Officals said the energy center, located near the town of Breckenridge in the townships of Wheeler, Bethany, Emerson, and Lafayette, will:
- Employ an estimated 150 skilled construction workers
- Employ 15 full-time high-tech workers to operate the facility upon completion
- Contribute to the areas economic development through property tax payments, which can be used for schools, fire and police protection, road repair, and other area improvements.
- Support the local economy through substantial yearly lease payments to more than 240 landowners, thereby helping preserve prime farmland for future generations
- Feature 125 1.6 MW GE wind turbines
- Power more than 50,000 Michigan homes with clean, renewable power
- Help Michigan meet its Renewable Portfolio Standard, which mandates that 10 percent of the states energy come from renewable sources by 2015. The RPS was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Granholm in the fall of 2008.
We are proud that Invenergy chose Gratiot County as the host community for this wind farm, which will provide clean energy to Michigan consumers, said Gratiot County Board Chairman Mark Knowles. This is an important time for our county, as construction begins on a project that is a new source of jobs and tax revenue.
In addition to starting construction on the wind farm site, Invenergy also has established a local office, at 228 E. Saginaw St. in Breckenridge.
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