Grand Valley State University's Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center has been selected as a Michigan Energy Demonstration Center by the state’s Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth.
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 businesses. Other Energy Demonstration Centers in Michigan are located in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Dimondale, East Lansing, Grand Rapids, Oxford, and Traverse City. The centers are recognized because the technologies and practices they illustrate can help homeowners and business owners reduce energy costs, save money and protect environmental resources. As an Energy Demonstration Center, MAREC has the opportunity to receive grants and funding for seminars and facility tours to be used as educational tools.
“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, and they also highlight the opportunities they provide for entrepreneurship and economic development in the region.”
In addition to providing monthly learning events, MAREC has recently installed a data logging system, built by Grand Valley students, that allows MAREC’s real-time energy generation data to be viewed online. The system reports current usage and weather conditions while also archiving the data for researchers, students, and the public to access and analyze. The system can be viewed here.
This is the latest recognition MAREC has received for its energy efficiency efforts. MAREC is a LEED Gold Certified facility that incorporates energy efficient features such as sensor-controlled interior lights and special heating and cooling systems. Construction of the 25,000 square-foot building included use of renewable materials, such as fast-growing bamboo and recycled tires. In 2004, the facility received the American Institute of Architects Building Award and Sustainable Design Award.