RICH VANDER VEEN: The Gratiot County Wind Project was started in the fall of 2006. We brought our team here, and the first thing we did was begin to listen and ask a question. How could we create the best possible project? TREVOR LAUER: The Gratiot County Wind Project is an interesting one. DTE Energy's involvement in the state of Michigan in renewable energies around accomplishing the 10% renewable portfolio standard that is required under state law. The production tax credit for this project is really valuable, because it made us competitive. And therefore, we were fortunate to have Detroit Edison sign a 20-year power purchase agreement. Project itself has 133 turbines on it, powers about 50,000 homes, during construction employed about 200 people full-time. There are now 15 permanent employees just for this project. And because of the industrial park, I've been able to train other new employers who brought new jobs.
What it does is it gives a shot of economic vitality to an area like this. BLAKE SHROLL: It definitely has provided new opportunity. The automotive industry that I was working with, started back in 1988 and started to go south. Currently I'm a wind turbine technician. We work on the turbines here in Gratiot County. We check the tower from top to bottom. I get to work in an office that's on the 32nd floor, and I got a panoramic view of the skyline, and it's wonderful. TREVOR LAUER: Utility companies and our customers benefit from renewable power in a couple different ways. Utility companies earn income when we invest capital. And by investing in renewable resources like the Gratiot County Wind Farm, we're able to demonstrate to our customers that we're forward thinking, we're understanding the different technologies, and we're understanding how they'll blend in with what we're doing today.
Renewable energy is the future for our children, and our grandchildren, and our great grandchildren. Now's the time to invest in America. .