Wind Turbine Generator Manufacturer Danotek Motion Technologies Brings Green Jobs To Michigan

May 28, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

On the outskirts of the automotive capital of the world, wind turbine generator manufacturer Danotek Motion Technologies is opening a manufacturing center dedicated to a type of industry not normally associated with the region: the production of electric generators for wind turbines. The 40,000 square foot Danotek facility has the capacity to produce up to 4000 generators per year, creating 150 professional and skilled jobs, as well as opportunities for local components sourcing, and other services such as forging, casting, machining, and electronics assembly.

"Michigan has the chance to become a leader in wind energy," said Dan Gizaw, President and Chief Executive Officer of Danotek. "The state’s existing manufacturing and engineering infrastructure, skilled labor force and national ranking in wind generation capacity make it a perfect location for Danotek operations."

Danotek claims that its patent-pending variable speed Permanent Magnet Generators save more than $1 million per turbine for wind farm developers and wind turbine original equipment manufacturers over the life of a turbine. Their unique design is said to offer high performance at low wind speed. They are described as significantly more efficient than conventional generators (with efficiency rates topping 98%), and to incur lower operating costs. The Permanent Magnet Generators are said to be half the weight of conventional generators and have improved reliability, because they contain no "wear-and-tear" parts. Danotek states that its generators and electronics power converters have elicited interest from large-scale wind turbine manufacturers globally.

In November 2008, Danotek announced that it raised an initial $7.25 million as part of a larger $14.5 million funding agreement from CMEA Capital, StatoilHydro unit StatoilHydro Venture and GE unit GE Energy Financial Services. The balance of the funds are to be provided in a subsequent round. Danotek also was awarded a $1.8 million loan from Michigan 21st Century Job Fund program to be closed by early June.

"Danotek is providing a template for other Michigan companies to follow in developing innovative technologies to supply the rapidly growing renewable energy sector globally and to bring new green-collar jobs to the state," said Kevin Skillern, Managing Director and leader of venture capital at GE Energy Financial Services.