Brothers find fulfilling careers in Michigan’s wind industry

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Brothers Adam and Austin Osentoski feel very lucky to have found careers in the wind industry that have enabled them to live in Tuscola County, Mich., where their family has a farm and has lived for three generations. The brothers work out of DTE Energy’s Huron County Renewable Energy City with Adam working for Duke Energy Renewables and Austin for DTE. Both received their training at the Michigan Institute of Aviation and Technology in Canton, Mich.

Adam has been a wind turbine technician for six and a half years. One of the things he enjoys most about his job is the diversity. “It’s different every day,” he says. “One day you can be changing pitch motors and the next day you are doing preventative maintenance. The job also allows me a lot of independence. After we gather for our morning meeting, we all head into the field to go to our assigned projects.”

When he started in the industry five years ago, Austin was one of the first wind technicians servicing DTE’s wind parks in Huron County and has been a DTE employee since April 2017. Now he works on the Operations & Maintenance side of the business. While his brother is working on the turbines in the field, Austin is in the office monitoring predictive maintenance tracking tools, talking to other companies in the industry regarding best practices and working to improve the efficiency and productivity of DTE’s operations.

“The wind energy industry is changing rapidly, and I always feel like I’m learning something new,” says Austin. “I’ve also become much more aware of the positive impact wind development has had on the community. I’m seeing the new roads that are getting paved and other changes coming from the tax revenue the wind projects generate.”

While the brothers don’t work together much during the day, they agree that the industry has provided them with good jobs and the opportunity to settle close to their parents and the community in which they were raised. They appreciate the role they are playing in helping to create cleaner energy and are excited to be part of a relatively new and growing industry. “It’s a great industry,” says Austin with Adam nodding in agreement.