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Wind power ‘success story’ was a massive failure  

Credit:  By Tom Gantert | Michigan Capitol Confidential | June 18, 2014 | www.michigancapitolconfidential.com ~~

A few years ago, Vice President Joe Biden called a wind turbine facility in Saginaw one of the top “100 Recovery Act Projects that are Changing America.”

In 2010, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act awarded Merrill Technologies Group a $22 million advanced energy manufacturing tax credit that was used to buy advanced manufacturing equipment needed to create wind turbine components in a facility in Saginaw. The Recovery Act also gave Merrill Technologies another $3 million.

Then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm trumpeted the facility as the future of Michigan’s economy that would help create 89,918 clean energy jobs.

The facility produced one wind turbine that triggered news reports around the country.

And then?

The facility “never got started,” said Michael Shore, spokesman for the Michigan Economic Development Corp., in an email he sent in May in response to questions about the project.

Yet, that hasn’t stopped wind power advocates around the country from touting the project as a success.

The American Wind Energy Association, a national trade association based in Washington, D.C., still cited the Saginaw facility in its 2014 update on wind manufacturing in the state. 

Saginaw Future Inc., which is a public-private alliance that includes the city of Saginaw and 15 local municipalities, cites the wind turbine facility on its website, stating that the expectation is the facility “will become a major supplier for Michigan-made wind turbines … “

In a presentation in May at the World Energy Innovation Forum, former Gov. Granholm included the Saginaw facility project as contributing to the inaccurate 89,000 clean energy jobs in Michigan figure.

“It does not surprise me that wind power proponents point to this as a ‘success story,’ ” said James Taylor, senior fellow for environmental policy with the Heartland Institute. “The reason being is wind subsidies across the board have been wasteful boondoggles that produce little wind power, fewer jobs, but tremendous economic hardship. Wind power so-called ‘jobs created’ are merely jobs purloined from conventional energy companies and come at the expense of jobs throughout the entire economy.”

A request seeking comment from Merrill Technologies Group was not returned. Lindsay North of American Wind Energy Association and Tom Miller, spokesman for Saginaw Future, did not respond to requests for comment.

Source:  By Tom Gantert | Michigan Capitol Confidential | June 18, 2014 | www.michigancapitolconfidential.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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