U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., whose district includes the eastern part of the state, toured a wind-energy project in the so-called thumb area. She said more than 80 percent of the workforce needed to build the Michigan Wind 2 site is coming from state labor pools.
"This wind farm is providing our area with clean energy, and is doing so by engaging the local community," she said in a statement.
Exelon Wind is building three wind farms in Michigan. The Wind 2 site will have 50 turbines spinning by the end of the year, supplying 90 megawatts of clean energy to Michigan consumers.
The thumb region is expected to become one of the more robust wind energy regions in the state. DTE Energy, a state utility company, aims to invest $225 million in three wind farms in the area.
Consumers Energy, another state utility, said it was doubling the amount of solar power it would purchase from its customers under a state plan that requires utility companies to get 10 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2015.