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9th Renewable Energy Conference
Made in Michigan, Renewable Energy Technology Show
Lunch and Learn Seminar Series: Mark Clevey, Bureau of Energy Systems | RSVP
Sustainability: A West Michigan Journey (West Michigan Symphony)
Sustainability: A West Michigan Journey (West Michigan Symphony)
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These are exciting and promising times at MAREC – "energizing" would be an apt description, if you’ll forgive the pun. Since the last edition of the MAREC Minute, much has occurred that contributes to fulfilling the mission and spirit of MAREC. Some highlights:
Working with West Michigan Energy, an important regional coalition of public and private energy interests, the ChargePoint America program has brought the first electric vehicle charging station to the Muskegon lakeshore region. Installed at MAREC in late December, the first unit will be used to demonstrate and promote electric vehicle charging technology as electric vehicles begin to make their appearance.
Steps were also taken in late 2010 to secure designation of MAREC as an official Michigan Energy Demonstration Center, reflecting the educational role we have already been fulfilling. Approval of that designation was received in late November and meetings have taken place with state officials and other demonstration center representatives to discuss how MAREC can contribute to the overall effort to educate Michigan’s citizens about energy issues.
And the pace continues… More
Go to the ChargePoint America website and you’ll see the recent milestone MAREC set in working to help build the infrastructure for electric vehicle transportation, with its promise of new industries and environmental benefits.
Type in “Muskegon, MI” in the Address box and soon you’ll see a map with a green pin marking the location of the first electric vehicle charging station in Muskegon County. It is part of the first wave of stations now being installed through a regional effort led by the West Michigan Strategic Alliance and West Michigan Energy.
“The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf make electric vehicles a reality on our streets and roads, and the development of a national network of charging stations becomes a critical need,” notes Arn Boezaart, director of MAREC. More
MAREC has been named as a Michigan Energy Demonstration Center by the state's energy department.
Energy Demonstration Centers are chosen based on their ability to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, green building, and sustainable living solutions for Michigan residents and to help grow businesses in the alternative and renewable energy sectors. Other Energy Demonstration Centers in Michigan are located in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Dimondale, East Lansing, Grand Rapids, Marquette, Oxford, and Traverse City.
The centers are recognized because the technologies and practices they illustrate help homeowners and business owners reduce energy use, save money, and protect the environment. As an Energy Demonstration Center, MAREC has the opportunity to expand the programming it now offers.
"This is a welcomed recognition of what we do,” said Arn Boezaart, director of MAREC. "Our wind, solar, and micro-turbine technologies demonstrate how these energy alternatives work. They also highlight opportunities for entrepreneurship and economic development in the region." More
With the assistance of a $100,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), MAREC will increase its capacity to recruit and assist entrepreneurs, business start-ups, and early-stage businesses with an emphasis on energy-related technologies, products, and services. A new business consultant, Doug Huesdash, has joined the MAREC team, as long-time business consultant Eric Seifert transitions to new responsibilities, in a new position with MISBTDC (see below).
As part of the state’s 21st Century Jobs Fund program, the MEDC grant will fund a part-time incubator manager and allow for support services including legal and technical consultation. The grant also provides limited seed capital for MAREC clients, and will enable MAREC to develop additional incubator work stations and spaces. More
MAREC’s new incubator manager position will be filled by Doug Huesdash, CPA, who joined the program in January. “I’m more than excited to join the MAREC team and to start working with Lakeshore area businesses,” said Huesdash (see profile below).
“I’ve been an entrepreneur for 18 years, and worked in public accounting focusing on privately held businesses before that,” Huesdash said. “From personal experience, I know that growth and success are definitely achievable for start-ups and young businesses despite economic conditions. There are opportunities yet to be tapped, and I’m eager to help guide entrepreneurs in whatever ways they need.”
“Doug has almost a ‘perfect-storm’ combination of the skills and experience needed for this role,” said Eric Seifert. Since last March, Seifert has served as a full-time consultant with the Region 7 MI-SBTDC office, serving MAREC two days a week with consultation and business development support to incubator tenants, Muskegon area small businesses, new venture companies, and area entrepreneurs. Seifert will continue to serve Muskegon and lakeshore area businesses as the finance and strategy specialist for Region 7, a position created under the federal Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. More
Thanks to new programs at MISBTDC, MAREC is now able to offer more help – and more kinds of help --not just to businesses in the early incubation and first stages of business growth but also to second-stage businesses that are ready for their next stage of growth, having achieved more than $1 million in annual revenue.
MISBTDC formed a new team last year, the Growth Group (G2), to support second-stage companies of all kinds in specialized areas where they most need help. G2 complements the pre-existing Manufacturing Assistance Team (MAT) consultants, who focus their expertise particularly on Michigan manufacturers, from second-stage to small and medium-sized businesses. G2 consultants typically help second-stage companies in strategic needs assessment, market research, process improvement, and strategic actioning (a form of three-year planning).
With assistance from the federal Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, MISBTDC has supplemented these two teams by adding nine regional Finance and Strategy Specialists (FSS), including Eric Seifert at MAREC (see above story). More
With a total 25 years of experience as a service provider, a manufacturer, and an entrepreneur, Doug Huesdash, CPA, is well-suited to his new role serving MAREC clients as business development consultant with the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center (MISBTDC).
“I come at this position as a problem solver,” said Huesdash. “In both of the office furniture manufacturing businesses I founded, the challenges were not in making the identical widget over and over again. Instead, supporting customization was critical for us to meet changing needs. The foundation of success for any organization comes though hearing and comprehending the need, and then providing a solution.”
Logical Lighting Systems, LLC became a MAREC incubator client in September, 2009. Through the use of high efficiency, environmentally friendly lighting options and sophisticated electronic control and monitoring systems, Logical Lighting Systems plans to move its LED technology beyond residential use into workplaces and public spaces including malls, hospitals, office buildings, and outdoor municipal lighting.
Company CEO Jason Jespersen said that while public attention has focused on residential conversion from incandescent and fluorescent lighting to more efficient sources, Logical Lighting Systems will address the enormous potential for energy and cost savings in the country’s work places and public spaces by using energy controls systems and monitoring equipment.
“With millions of lights burning nearly 24/7 in stores, offices and parking lots, it’s no surprise that commercial buildings account for more than half of total energy consumption for lighting in the U.S. versus about a quarter for residential,” Jespersen said. “This gives us with an enormous opportunity to leverage smart technologies, like LED lighting." More
What are Michigan companies actually designing and making to equip the much-touted sustainable economy? Businesses and interested citizens will get the chance to find out in March, when MAREC hosts its first Made in MICHIGAN Renewable Energy Technology Show.
Open from Monday, March 21 thru Wednesday, March 23, the Expo will highlight renewable technology and sustainable products currently in production by a Michigan-based company. Targeted for installers, dealers, distributors, contractors and other businesses as well as the general public, Made in MICHIGAN seeks to bridge the gap between Michigan-based vendors and customers. It also seeks to raise awareness about current renewable technology products and Michigan’s growing role in building and supplying the “green” economy. More
For questions about the show, contact Kim Walton, MAREC Program Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, 616-331-6907.
Renewable energy and energy efficiency will take a big step forward in several counties this year thanks to a $6.8 million federal grant to two nonprofits, and MAREC will assist the nonprofits in implementing the grant.
The Muskegon-Oceana Community Action Partnership (MOCAP) and the Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency (OLHSA) are the recipients of the combined Sustainable Energy Resources for Consumers (SERC) grant, funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE). SERC funding is for the design, fabrication and installation of site-specific sustainable and renewable energy technologies for income-qualified single or multi-family residential buildings.
“This is a big deal for the agencies and the communities. It will put more income-qualified households on a more sustainable basis both economically and environmentally, and we at MAREC are delighted to help,” said Kim Walton, MAREC program coordinator and consultant on the grant. "And it's a great opportunity for contractors." More
Sustainable energy projects will be available in the coming months for suitable contractors under the federal Sustainable Energy Resources for Consumers grant administered by MOCAP and OLHSA (see above article). The $6.8 million Sustainable Energy Resources for Consumers (SERC) grant supports the design, fabrication, and installation of site-specific sustainable and renewable energy technologies for income-qualified residential buildings. A Request for Qualification (RFQ) will be issued soon by MOCAP and OLHSA. More
Our free monthly public lecture series continues one Wednesday per month over the lunch hour at MAREC, from 12:00 to 1:00. Bring your lunch and enjoy a beverage and tasty dessert on us!
March 23: Bureau of Energy Systems: Programs and services that support Made in Michigan renewable energy technologies and products
Presented by Mark H. Clevey, Manager, Consumer Education & Renewable Energy Programs
Please RSVP by Monday, March 21.
In February, the promise and challenge of bio-fuels were explained by Greg Marczak, shown in photo. Marczak is dean of instruction and assessment at Muskegon Community College; he is also a research chemist and patent holder. In January... More
This fair will promote critical thinking and inventive skills through development of renewable energy (RE) or sustainability projects. Students will also develop a related business plan, coupling good science and good business. The fair will provide students with a meaningful learning experience and access to potential employers. Further, it will provide high school juniors and seniors with exposure to a community college experience.
Projects will be divided in two basic categories, Renewable Energy and Sustainability, and will be judged in several sub-categories. Business leaders along with other community members in related fields will serve as judges. Judging will be based on the merits of the projects and multiple top awards may be issued in each category.
“Taking part in RE-Fair really offers many benefits,” said Kim Walton, MAREC program coordinator. “The incentive of a friendly competition has been shown to promote deeper learning as students see the value of science and technology in their lives. They’ll also learn through the challenge of integrating science and business, and making the case for their project.” More
The New Economy and Alternative Energy
Marcia Saunders, St. Joseph County EDC (left), and Diane Tracy, University of Michigan, took part in the roundtable, led by MAREC Director Arn Boezaart (center). Photo by Sam Zomer.
To promote dialogue with thought leaders who are helping drive Michigan forward and accelerating the transition to an innovation-based economy, Business Review West Michigan held a roundtable forum called "The New Economy" on February 17 at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Among the industries it covered was alternative energy, and MAREC director Arn Boezaart hosted the "Diversifying New Opportunities in Alternative Energy" roundtable discussion.