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.The development of wind farms in the state, however, has lagged behind. As of January 2014, there were 676 wind turbines in the state with a nameplate capacity of 1161 MW. They provided 2.4% of the state's electricity in 2013.
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.
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.
In 2010, wind power produced 0.3% of Michigan's electrical power. Installed wind capacity more than doubled in 2011, to a total of 377 MW nameplate capacity.
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 allow the region to support hundreds of proposed new turbines.