The Michigan Strategic Fund board has approved a Centers of Energy Excellence designation and $3.5 million in funding for URV USA, a subsidiary of a Finnish supplier of cast-iron wind turbine components.
URV USA will collaborate with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to support a foundry in Eaton Rapids, Mich., to develop a next-generation casting process to produce large, utility-scale wind turbine components. Michigan Technological University will assist with alloy development, casting gating system design and solidification simulation. The project will receive $4 million in matching funds from the U.S. Department of Energy.
‘The Centers of Energy Excellence program fosters the kind of public-private partnerships that leverage our strengths in research and development, our highly-skilled workforce and our manufacturing infrastructure,’ says Greg Main, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
Astraeus Wind Energy, a cooperative venture between MAG Industrial Automation System and Dowding Machining, has already committed to purchasing a large portion of URV USA's initial output to fulfill existing and projected orders for machining large, utility-scale hubs and bedplates.