As the debate over the state budget continues, one question remains at the forefront: How can Michigan rebuild its economy for the 21st century? According to DTE Energy, the answer may be blowing in the wind. On Wednesday, the utilities giant, which provides more than three million Michigan homes and businesses with energy, unveiled plans to build its first wind farms in the state. By providing cleaner energy and developing the promising renewable energy business sector, this $225 million project is a solid investment for both DTE and the state of Michigan.

According to an April 13 article from The Associated Press, DTE plans to build about 50 wind turbines in Huron and Sanilac counties, producing 110 megawatts of energy that can power over 100,000 homes. This is an encouraging turnaround for the corporation, which was sued in August by the Environmental Protection Agency for spending tens of millions of dollars repairing coal-fired power plants. By building these energy farms in Michigan’s Thumb region, DTE is not only saving face, but doing its part to help meet Michigan’s renewable energy goal — a 45-percent reduction of fossil fuel use by 2020. The development of these turbines is a great way to make clean, sustainable energy available to Michigan citizens on a large scale.

The development of the turbines will not only serve as a source of clean power for Michigan, but will also aid in the growth of businesses focussed on renewable energy in the state. The Big Three’s financial roller-coaster ride, over the past decade, made it clear that in order to get out of this state of economic stagnation, Michigan must begin industrial development in more modern and promising sectors. From the construction teams to analysts, the production of wind turbines in Michigan will create jobs in the renewable energy industry, helping the state move forward economically.

Other corporations in Michigan should take note of DTE’s turbine initiative and work toward developing similar environmentally friendly practices. While the creation of the wind farms will certainly be an aid in reaching both the state and nation’s renewable energy goals, DTE can’t do it alone. Other sectors, like the automobile industry, need to make an effort to create renewable energy operations. Clean, sustainable energy is key — not only for the state’s and nation’s economic future, but also for the future of the planet. Michigan companies need follow DTE’s lead, and make a conscious effort to become more sustainable.

DTE’s investment in wind turbines across the state was a smart move, both economically and environmentally. Other Michigan businesses should mirror DTE’s efforts and end ‘business-as-usual’ environmental practices, in exchange for innovative, green technologies.

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