RICH VANDER VEEN: The Gratiot
County Wind Project was started in the fall of 2006. We brought our team here, and
the first thing we did was begin to listen and
ask a question. How could we create the
best possible project? TREVOR LAUER: The Gratiot County
Wind Project is an interesting one. DTE Energy’s involvement in
the state of Michigan in renewable energies around
accomplishing the 10% renewable portfolio
standard that is required under state law. The production tax credit for
this project is really valuable, because it made
us competitive. And therefore, we were fortunate
to have Detroit Edison sign a 20-year power
purchase agreement. Project itself has 133 turbines
on it, powers about 50,000 homes, during
construction employed about 200 people full-time. There are now 15 permanent
employees just for this project. And because of the industrial
park, I’ve been able to train other new employers who
brought new jobs. What it does is it gives a shot
of economic vitality to an area like this. BLAKE SHROLL: It definitely has
provided new opportunity. The automotive industry that I
was working with, started back in 1988 and started
to go south. Currently I’m a wind
turbine technician. We work on the turbines here
in Gratiot County. We check the tower from
top to bottom. I get to work in an office
that’s on the 32nd floor, and I got a panoramic view of the
skyline, and it’s wonderful. TREVOR LAUER: Utility companies
and our customers benefit from renewable power
in a couple different ways. Utility companies earn income
when we invest capital. And by investing in renewable
resources like the Gratiot County Wind Farm, we’re able
to demonstrate to our customers that we’re forward
thinking, we’re understanding the different technologies, and
we’re understanding how they’ll blend in with what
we’re doing today. Renewable energy is the future
for our children, and our grandchildren, and our
great grandchildren. Now’s the time to invest
in America.