The New Year has brought new opportunities for Indiana’s growing green manufacturing sector – the first few weeks of 2010 have seen several announcements that, collectively, show the momentum behind Hoosier manufacturing’s effort to electrify vehicles, make renewable energy sources a practical reality and more.
First, there was the news that Think North America had chosen Elkhart as the site of its first U.S. factory for its line of electric cars, joining Electric Motors Corp and NaviStar as the hub of a growing green vehicle cluster along Indiana’s northern border.
In Central Indiana, EnerDel – the only U.S. manufacturer of the cutting-edge lithium ion batteries that power hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles – announced a major manufacturing facility in Greenfield, Indiana, expanding a footprint that already includes its northeast Indianapolis headquarters and facilities in Hamilton County. The Greenfield site will ultimately employ nearly 1,100.
Elsewhere, Brevini Wind (in Muncie) has earned $12.8 million in federal tax credits for its work manufacturing the gear boxes and other technologies for the turbines that generate electricity from wind. Just two weeks ago, Secretary of Energy Chu visited Columbus to announce $54 million in federal stimulus grants to Cummins to increase engine efficiency.
Just like any technology-intensive, innovation-driven industry, a skilled workforce is a critical need for green manufacturing. Here too, Indiana is moving forward – the state’s Department of Workforce Development recently earned a $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to create new curricula and retrain industrial workers from other sectors to take advantage of new green job opportunities.
Look for more announcements ahead from Indiana’s green manufacturing and clean technologies industries, as well as CICP’s Energy Systems Network initiative, as the state continues to solidify its position as a crossroads of energy innovation.