Bringing Renewables Into Port

To the growing list of job opportunities associated with more aggressive investment in wind energy infrastructure for the greater Great Lakes, add several more: freighter captains, crane operators, truck and hi-lo drivers, cargo handlers, and port managers.

Business is booming to record levels at one of Duluth's main shipping terminals due in large part to "a tsunami" of shipments carrying wind power equipment, according to a recent report in the Duluth News Tribune.

There's mounting evidence that the wind business will generate all sorts of jobs for technical, scientific, professional, and skilled workers. But apparently transportation - a historic strength of the greater Great Lakes region - is another industry that stands to benefit. The Clure Marine Terminal is processing imports from overseas as well as exports to Spain.

"This is a shipping frenzy right now with wind power," Adolph Ojard, director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, told the News Tribune.

Imagine what could happen in ailing port cities like Detroit, Cleveland, and Toledo if Michigan and Ohio got serious about energy innovation.

"There's huge potential out there," Gary Nicholson, president of Lake Superior Warehousing, told the News Tribune.