The first commercial wind turbine in Michigan, installed in Traverse City in 1996
Wind power in Michigan is a developing industry. The industrial base from the automotive industry has led to a number of companies producing wind turbine parts in the state; however, the development of wind farms in the state has lagged behind. As of January 2014, there were 676 wind turbines in the state with a nameplate capacity of 1161 MW.
Michigan's requirement for 10 percent renewable energy by 2015 has led to increased alternative development in the state since it was passed in 2008. A ballot initiative requiring 25% by 2025 failed in 2012. In 2011, the Environmental Law & Policy Center identified over 100 businesses in Michigan involved in engineering and manufacturing wind turbine components, employing 4,000 people.
Wind power produced 0.3% of Michigan's power in 2010. Installed wind capacity more than doubled in 2011, to a total of 377 MW nameplate capacity.
The first commercial wind turbine installed in the state, a 0.6 MW model, was erected in Traverse City in 1996. It remained the only turbine for several years. Traverse City Light & Power has announced a project to generate 30% of its power from renewable sources by 2020. In 2001 Mackinaw City installed 2 turbines rated at 0.6 MW each. Laker Elementary School in the Thumb region installed three 65KW turbines and a 10KW one, totaling 0.2 MW in 2005. The first wind farm in the state was the Harvest Wind Farm in the Thumb, opened in December 2007, with 32 turbines producing a rated 53 MW.
The largest wind farm in Michigan, the 213 MW Gratiot County Wind Project, entered full operation in June 2012.
Michigan Wind 1, a 46 turbine wind farm near Ubly, with 69 MW capacity
A number of new projects are proposed in Michigan. In the Thumb region, which has most of Michigan's high-quality onshore wind, 140 miles of new 345 kilovolt lines are being built to support the hundreds of proposed new turbines.