National Wind Power Event Coming To Grand Rapids: Energy experts from the U.S. and around the world will have their eyes on Michigan next week as the American Wind Energy Association, the industry’s national trade association representing wind energy suppliers and advocates, reviews its just-released, second-quarter industry report during the Wind Energy Supply Chain Summit on Wednesday, July 28 in Grand Rapids. The event will be held at the Grand Valley State University Eberhard Center, 301 W. Fulton St. The event runs from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hosted by the West Michigan economic development group The Right Place in partnership with AWEA, the summit will bring together more than 200 supply chain manufacturers and wind energy industry pioneers to discuss growth opportunities in the wind industry supply chain, product challenges and wind component procurement processes. The full Summit agenda can be found at http://www.rightplace.org/windsummit. In the past two years, Michigan has been the nation’s fastest growing wind anufacturing region, leading the U.S. in 2009 with five wind plant expansions, two new online wind facilities and three announced wind farms. The growth has put Michigan on the map. AWEA asserted in its 2009 Annual State of the Wind Industry Report that “Michigan is becoming a manufacturing powerhouse for the wind energy industry,” and is now a target for business and industry development activites like the summit. According to AWEA, Michigan’s robust heritage in manufacturing, skilled workforce and existing infrastructure enable the state to easily diversify into the wind energy industry — a move which could spur billions in investment. Today, Michigan has more than 3,000 wind industry manufacturing jobs and is strategically positioned to expand its manufacturing base if the right state and federal policies — including a strong national Renewable Electricity Standard — are put into place to create industry demand amidst a regulated energy market.
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