Midland, Michigan, USA, will host clean-energy expansions by the Dow Chemical Company in wind, solar, advanced-battery manufacturing, and other projects totaling more than $1 billion that will create more than 6,900 new jobs. Dow plans to invest $952 million in future projects and has leveraged an additional $161 million from the federal energy department.
The state of Michigan, through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), has approved key incentives to help win Dow’s projects over competing national and global sites.
“We have worked hard to make Michigan the clean-energy capital of North America and focused our initiatives to grow these industries here,” Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm said. “Dow’s decisions to locate these facilities here demonstrate that our investments in green, clean-energy manufacturing are creating jobs and helping Michigan transition to a new 21st century economy.”
“Dow is one of the leaders in energy innovation and appreciates being able to work with the state of Michigan to secure support for alternative-energy technology opportunities,” said Rich Wells, Dow vice president for government affairs and public policy. “The collaboration between business and government is allowing Dow to create affordable, renewable-energy solutions and sustainable jobs.”
The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) board has approved a Centers of Energy Excellence designation and $5 million grant for Dow to establish operations focused on cost-effective carbon-fiber materials for application in the wind-energy and transportation sectors. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), a global leader in the development of new materials and processes for the manufacture of carbon fibers, will collaborate with Dow. Through ORNL’s participation, the U.S. Department of Energy will provide a $5 million match, and Dow will contribute up to $10 million of in-kind resources.
Additionally, the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) board approved a new job-creation state tax credit valued at $61.3 million over 15 years for Dow projects, which includes the full-scale production facility in Midland for the company’s Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingle, subject to finalizing local, state, and federal funding. The solar project is expected to generate $249 million in private investment and create 6,100 new jobs in the value chain, including 1,275 direct Dow jobs. Additional projects over the life of the tax credit could create up to an additional 425 jobs and $351 million in additional investment.
Further, the MEGA board approved an advanced-battery tax credit valued at $42 million to support Dow Kokam’s advanced-battery manufacturing operations. The advanced-battery credit will support phase II of the project involving the manufacture of lithium ion packs. The company is investing $342 million in this phase of the project, which is expected create 480 total jobs.
Phase I and Phase II of the Dow Kokam project is expected to generate $670 million in new private investment and 800 new jobs. To support the project, the MSF board approved on Wednesday a 15-year state Renaissance Zone for the 56.22-acre site.
The projects come on the heels of a report titled, “American Innovation: Manufacturing Low Carbon Technology in the Midwest,” released earlier this year, which used economic research from Deloitte to estimate that climate and energy policies could create up to 100,000 new jobs in the region and generate additional market revenues of up to $12 billion, boosting state and local tax revenues by over $800 million by 2015. In 2009 alone, the work of the MEDC and the MEGA board set the stage for more than 20,000 green jobs to be created or retained.
“Michigan overcame intense global competition to win these projects,” MEDC President and CEO Greg Main said. “Thanks to Governor Granholm’s leadership and economic development tools like first-in-the-nation advanced-battery credits and Centers of Energy Excellence provided through bipartisan cooperation in the Legislature, we are way ahead of every other state in growing clean-energy sectors.”
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