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Governor says Wind Energy Continues to Grow in MT - Applauds Seminars Focused on Helping Manufacturers Enter Supply Chain

Press Release

Location: Helena, MT

Governor Brian Schweitzer today said that Montana wind energy continues to play an important role in Montana's economy and in our reducing our dependence on unfriendly energy sources. The Governor applauds the seminars being held in this week in the state that help manufacturers interested in supplying parts and components set up facilities in Montana.

"Montana continues to grow and be a player in wind energy in the country," said Governor Schweitzer. "These seminars help connect the manufacturers with the resources they need to build in Montana."

"Many manufacturers in Montana have the capability to become part of the domestic wind energy supply chain, creating a new market for them and good jobs for the people of the state," said BlueGreen Alliance Foundation President David Foster. "This partnership between the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation and the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center gives businesses the information and tools they need to jumpstart their efforts to expand into the supply chain. Clean energy, like wind, will be an important part of Montana¹s energy and economic future and this workshop will help businesses ensure the components for wind energy will be built here."

Montana has grown from 1 megawatt produced by wind in 2004 to more than 386 megawatts today. The economic contribution is great with tax revenues at about $5.5 million per year and nearly 600 jobs created.

The seminars are set up to help the state's manufacturers capitalize on opportunities to become part the domestic wind energy supply chain. Experts from the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, GLWN (formerly Great Lakes Wind Network) and the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation's Clean Energy Manufacturing Center will lead the educational workshops.

The events -- geared to manufacturers who operate foundries, forges, machine shops or fabricating plants, or for those who operate factories that produces power electronics, control systems, hydraulics, composites, fasteners, brakes, blades, nacelles, or supplemental equipment for the wind industry such as ladders, elevators, hoists, fire-suppression, lighting, or meteorological equipment -- focus on helping to propel companies to new market opportunities creating the components for wind turbines.

There was a workshop held Monday in Billings. There is another scheduled tomorrow, Thursday, March 3 at the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center Conference Room in Bozeman from 8:00 a.m. to noon.

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