According to Susan Sloan, vice president of state policy for AWEA, Michigan is a hub for wind power manufacturing, with nearly 40 facilities making parts across the state. She adds that, in total, wind power has attracted $2.3 billion in capital investment to Michigan and has provided jobs for up to 3,000 local workers. “By continuing to invest and grow wind in the state,” Sloan says, “Michigan will continue to see these economic benefits for years to come.” Consumers Energy’s Cross Winds® Energy Park, for example, has benefited the local economy by providing around 150 construction jobs.
Cross Winds® also offers a new kind of revenue for landowners like Ewald, who had never thought he’d welcome windy days. “Ten years ago, harvesting the wind to generate another income stream was about the farthest thing from my mind,” he says. “It certainly feels great to be a contributor to a renewable energy source like wind.”