Wixom redevelopment could change the Rust Belt

Maybe it’s sort of fitting that something like this is happening to the old Ford Wixom assembly plant. After two years of sitting idle, two renewable energy companies are joining forces to put $725 million into the 4.7 million square-foot plant and thus become a showcase for renewable technology in Michigan. As one industry’s lights dim, it seems as if another industry’s light is turned a bit brighter.


Ford’s Wixom plant northwest of Detroit has sat idle since 2007, a
testament to the drastic changes in the automotive manufacturing
business in the United States. But the 4.7 million square-foot factory
space where millions of Lincoln Continentals and other cars once rolled
off its lines and generations of workers earned a good living now has a
legitimate shot at becoming a world-class showcase for renewable energy
technologies–offering a chance to reinvent a relic of the Rust Belt and
turn it into an iconic symbol of the Greentech Revolution.

the help of generous tax incentives from the state of Michigan and
expected U.S. Federal government loans and credits, Ford’s active role,
and the visionary participation of energy-storage innovator Xtreme
Power and Clairvoyant Energy (and turnkey partner Oerlikon) on the solar side, the now-dormant assembly line may soon provide thousands of jobs
as it reverberates with the sounds of advanced energy-storage,
thin-film PV, and possibly other cleantech production lines within a
few years.

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