New Wind Turbine Plant Employs Former Auto Workers in Michigan

April 27, 2009

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm joined representatives from Mariah Power and MasTech Manufacturing on April 20 to celebrate the opening of a new wind turbine manufacturing plant in Manistee, near the central eastern shore of Lake Michigan. The plant has hired 30 employees, many of them former auto industry workers, to begin its operations and expects to hire 80 more during the next three years.

Mariah Power, based in Reno, Nevada, partnered with MasTech Manufacturing of Manistee to retrofit a 30,000-square-foot auto parts manufacturing facility into the wind turbine manufacturing plant. The former auto workers, now employed by Mariah Power, already have experience in machining, welding, and building auto assembly lines and auto robotics.

The plant will produce Windspire® vertical axis wind turbines, which consist of a 30-foot central tower around which spins a 20- foot-high by 2-foot-diameter cylindrical-frame-shaped rotor. The turbines are mostly used in residential and small business settings. Mariah Power expects to produce 100 turbines per month initially, and aims to eventually produce 1,000 per month. Local Michigan companies will supply the steel and aluminum to produce the turbines.

"As we continue our efforts to diversify and grow our state's economy, we are proud to celebrate the opening of the Windspire manufacturing facility and the new energy jobs this will create in northern Michigan," Governor Granholm said. "This investment puts us at the forefront in the production of renewable energy to end U.S. dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels."

For more information, see the Mariah Power April 20 press release, which includes video of more of Granholm's remarks.

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Michigan, see: