Posted tagged ‘wind power michigan’

Michigan And the Region from Navarra in Spain Enter Renewable Energy Partnership

May 27, 2010

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that the state of Michigan has formed a partnership with the government of Navarra, Spain to develop green technology.

Navarra is a European center of the renewable-energy sector in Europe.

Michigan will work collaboratively with leading industry experts, including the Michigan-based wind turbine manufacturer Energetx Composites.

“This partnership will further our efforts to make Michigan the North American hub of clean energy innovation,” Granholm said.  “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.”

The memorandum of understanding with the government of Navarra was finalized today in Dallas, Texas.

The agreement 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 bio-climactic research.

Last month, the Michigan Strategic Fund board approved a Centers of Energy Excellence designation and $3.5 million in funding for Energetx Composites, the spin-off of S2 Yachts located in Holland, which will collaborate with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Dow Chemical Company to manufacture wind turbine blades with advanced materials.

Dow and ORNL will deliver innovative materials and technical expertise to Energetx, and the University of Michigan and Kettering University will contribute workforce training.

The project will receive $3.5 million in matching funds from the U.S. Department of Energy.  CENER, the national renewable energy center  located in the Navarra region, will work with Energetx to test wind turbine blades at a laboratory in Sanguesa, Spain.

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,” said Director of Enterprise of Government of Navarra Begoña Urien.

Over the past eight years, CENER has grown to become a leader in renewable-energy technology.

Navarra, pioneer of renewable energy sources, currently produces approximately 65 percent of its electricity from renewable-energy sources, ranking it ahead of the United Kingdom, Sweden and France.

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Rockford Construction joins with Spanish company Berge to help develop wind farms

March 16, 2009

Madrid, Spain-based Bergé Logística Energética and Grand Rapids-based Rockford Construction last week announced the formation of Rockford Bergé, an organization combining wind farm construction with comprehensive logistical services. 

Rockford Bergé will focus its initial efforts in Michigan with plans to service the entire Great Lakes region. Rockford Bergé is a one-of-a-kind company in Michigan, offering construction and logistical services for clients who wish to construct wind farms,” said Mike VanGessel, president and CEO of Rockford Construction. “With this unique combination of expertise, Rockford Bergé will provide utilities and municipalities that wish to develop wind farms with a cost-efficient, deadline-oriented partner.”

Rockford Construction was recently ranked as a Top 50 Green Contractor by Engineering News-Record. Bergé has expertise in many aspects of energy infrastructure logistics, including transporting massive turbine parts from around the world. Approximately half of the parts for wind turbines in the United States currently come from overseas as the support industries are being developed in North America.

“Data analysis indicates that Michigan offers some of the best opportunities in the nation to capture wind energy,” said Jorge Gonzalez, Bergé project manager. “Currently, Michigan ranks 22nd in the nation in terms of the amount of power being generated from wind, producing nearly 130 megawatts of power. But it is 14th in terms of wind abundance. That gap between power generation and wind abundance is an indicator of a largely untapped market.” 

The Right Place, a nonprofit economic development organization serving Greater Grand Rapids, helped bring the two companies together. The Right Place, in partnership with the West Michigan Strategic Alliance, commissioned a study on the wind industry in Michigan in 2008. The study identified organizations already in the region, such as Rockford Construction, with the expertise needed to construct wind farms. It also identified needs that would not be met by companies in the region, such as logistics, and found leaders in these categories, such as Bergé, that could fill those needs.