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Ford, Granholm laud auto plant-turned energy complex

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-859859.mp3

WIXOM, MI – A shut-down Ford plant in metro Detroit has found a new life as a sprawling manufacturing space for alternative energy companies. State officials say it's part of the new beginning for Michigan manufacturing.

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The Wixom plant sits on 320 acres and has more than four and a half million square feet of floor space. For half a century, workers here built Lincolns before Ford closed the plant in 2007. Now, Ford is selling the facility to a pair of companies that build energy storage systems and solar panels.

Ford chairman Bill Ford Junior says he's pleased that, if things go as planned, the facility will once again employ thousands of Michigan workers.

"We're recycling our Wixom facility and transforming it into what we believe will be the largest renewable energy manufacturing park in the United States," he said.

Governor Granholm also visited the plant. She says the project shows the state's three-year drive to move heavily into the alternative energy sector is working. The state helped with the offer of tax breaks to sweeten the deal.

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