Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm announced that the state formed a partnership with the government of Navarra, Spain, a European center of the renewable-energy sector, to work collaboratively with leading industry experts to develop green technology. The project includes the Michigan-based wind turbine manufacturer Energetx Composites.
Granholm inked the agreement yesterday in Dallas where the American Wind Energy Association was wrapping up its mega Windpower Expo.
“This partnership will further our efforts to make Michigan the North American hub of clean energy innovation,” Granholm says. “We are taking bold and decisive steps to ensure we are the state that develops the technologies, manufactures the products and creates the green jobs that will help reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil.”
Granholm’s efforts to bring the state to the forefront of renewable energy haven’t gone unnoticed by me. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. has partnered with Dow Chemical numerous times to bring green energy technology innovation and jobs to the state. Partnerships between the state. Dow is headquartered in Midland, Mich., but operates 214 manufacturing sites in 37 countries. Dow already makes several energy-related products, such as Styrofoam insulation and sheathing for buildings, expanding foam insulation, Powerhouse photovoltaic roof shingles and a line of fiberglass-free insulation.
Dow and national labs have secured millions in government funding and the promise of thousands of jobs. And, not unlike other governors, Granholm hopes that green-energy technology could become Michigan’s lifeline.
The agreement between Michigan and Spain consists of joint activities – including policy sharing, technology transfer, value-chain mapping and trade missions – in the targeted sectors of wind technology, biomass, solar energy, smart-grid technology and bioclimactic research.
Dow and ORNL will deliver materials and technical expertise to Energetx. The University of Michigan and Kettering University will contribute workforce training. The project will receive $3.5 million in matching funds from the DOE. CENER, Spain’s renewable energy center located in the Navarra region, will work with Energetx to test wind turbine blades.
“Navarra shares a similar industrial background with Michigan, as it was a center of manufacturing focused on transportation and heavy engines. Early last decade, Navarra identified the need to diversify and chose to focus on clean energy. CENER has played a significant role in the development of renewable energy, both in Navarra and Spain,” says Navarra’s Director of Enterprise Begoña Urien.
Granholm’s office reports that Navarra currently produces approximately 65 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources.