LANSING, MI –
The Michigan Economic Growth Authority has approved tax credits for Dow Chemical to support new jobs building solar panels and lithium-ion batteries. Governor Granholm says that's helping to turn the Saginaw-Midland area into a center of alternative energy manufacturing.
The Saginaw-Midland region once employed 45,000 people in automotive-related manufacturing. The vast majority of those jobs have evaporated with the decline of the auto industry. But Governor Granholm says some of those jobs will be replaced by advanced manufacturing jobs building batteries and solar panels.
"We have an expertise there," she explains. "Now other states get more investment in terms of the production of renewable energy from solar because they're sunnier states, but the production of the solar panels, we're certainly at the head of the pack."
The governor says the state's also hoping to become a lead player in the wind energy business - although investment in that sector is slow right now. The state has approved support for a Dow partnership to develop a low-cost carbon material to be used in wind turbines.