With the Big 3 automakers in Detroit running on fumes and an over abundance of former auto workers eager to get busy again, wind turbines are a growth industry for manufacturing jobs. In fact, Global Wind Systems Inc. is going to add 250 wind turbine manufacturing jobs this year with 90-percent coming from the automotive industry.
The former automakers will now be building 74-ton wind turbines aided by Michigan’s state mandate for power companies to provide 10-percent renewable energy from wind and solar by 2015. When the company ramps up in two years time, it is expected to grow to 400 employees and turn out 400 utility scale wind turbines a year at a cost of around $2 million each.
The 1.5 megawatt wind turbines will populate wind farms in Michigan and other regions. Each wind turbine contains around 8,000 precision milled parts, some of which will come from up to 500 other Michigan suppliers. The newly hired workers from Global Wind Systems will work on assembly lines to construct the huge turbines.
There is a bit of irony of course in repurposing former auto workers (who were employed by car manufacturers who contributed to greenhouse gases and global warming) into those gainful employed in the zero emissions renewable energy industry. And, this is just such an irony that is good for all parties involved.