Ohio manufacturing companies are well positioned to meet the needs of the developing wind energy industry within the state, according to the Ohio Business Development Coalition (OBDC), the non-profit organization that markets the state for capital investment. Traditional manufacturing companies are investing in the production of components for wind turbines, further demonstrating the state's commitment to renewable energy advancements.
"Ohio companies are recognizing the state's strengths in technology innovation, its strong manufacturing base and world-class transportation infrastructure as a natural home for developing wind power," said Governor Ted Strickland. "We are talking about something good for the environment, but also talking about jobs and economic development for the state of Ohio."
Helping Ohio-based companies compete even more effectively in the world economy includes modernizing Ohio's energy infrastructure, ensuring affordable and stable energy prices, and attracting energy jobs of the future through an Advanced Energy Portfolio Standard. These are key components of Senate Bill 221, Governor Strickland's Energy, Jobs and Progress legislation, which was passed unanimously in the Ohio Senate on October 31.
Advance Manufacturing Corporation, located in Cleveland, has its roots in traditional manufacturing but realizes the opportunities in renewable energy. In the last two years, it has invested $6 million to upgrade its facility and produce 22,000-pound components for gearboxes used in large electricity generating wind turbines.
"We believe the renewable energy industry holds great potential for Ohio manufacturing companies," said Herman Bredenbeck, president of Advance Manufacturing Corporation. "We are proud of our commitment to help the state with wind energy development."
There are 37 companies in Ohio associated with the wind energy industry and 34 more interested in getting involved. Large companies committed to manufacturing wind technology components include Canton-based bearings maker Timken Company and industrial manufacturer Parker Hannifin Corporation of Mayfield Heights.
"Every company that strives to grow its business has the responsibility to consider renewable energy," said Lt. Governor Lee Fisher, who also serves as the director of the Ohio Department of Development. "Using energy efficiently is critical to preserving the balance that makes Ohio a good place to live, to work, and to build a future."
In August, the Ohio Department of Development, through its Ohio Wind Production and Manufacturing Incentive program, awarded grants totaling $5 million to The Buckeye Wind Project, developed by EverPower Renewables, and the JW Great Lakes Wood County Wind Farm. Ohio also is moving forward with the Great Lakes Energy Development Task Force on wind feasibility studies for the installation of up to 10 wind turbines off the coast of Lake Erie.
"Ohio is at the heart of next-generation, advanced energy technology innovation both as a developer and a customer," said Ed Burghard, executive director for the Ohio Business Development Coalition. "Ohio-based company shareholders and owners benefit from the state's continued effort to focus on creating a profit friendly business environment through revamped tax and tort laws. Their bottom-line also benefits from better employee work-life balance. Ohio offers low-cost, low-stress communities and a unique tapestry of micropolitan and metropolitan cities. This diversity provides executives and employees the resources and time to pursue their professional goals and personal aspirations without having to sacrifice one for the other. Ohio truly is the state of perfect balance."
The Ohio Business Development Coalition is a non-profit organization that provides marketing strategy and implementation to support Ohio's economic development efforts. For more information, visit www.ohiomeansbusiness.com.