Muskegon, Mich. — A start-up company working on the development and commercialization of portable power products technologies is the newest tenant in Grand Valley State University's Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC).
The company, Energy Partners, LLC, has signed an agreement with Grand Valley for use of lab and office space at the MAREC incubator facility. Energy Partners moved to MAREC this month and will lease office and laboratory space totaling 1,000 square feet. The company works closely with Grand Rapids-based Coffman Electrical Equipment in an effort to expand product offerings in energy storage and management systems.
Energy Partners founder, James Wolter, is a recently retired physicist and professor of business and new product market development at Grand Valley. He has worked on development of alternative energy products for a number of years. The company will start with one employee with plans to grow in the future. The first employee of Energy Partners will be George Jaeger, a Hope College trained biologist who brings an “organic” dimension relevant to the development of bio-based fuels and energy as a complement to the “inorganic” focus by Wolter on battery and power systems.
“As the technology that will be developed by Energy Partners and its collaborators is successfully commercialized, many direct and indirect jobs will be added to the West Michigan economy," said Arnold (Arn) Boezaart, executive director of the MAREC facility.
Wolter added, "Locating Energy Partners at MAREC represents a perfect match based on the company’s focus and current needs and MAREC’s role in advancing new technology and business development."
Energy Partners, LLC, is the third incubator tenant at MAREC and joins Logical Lighting, Co. who moved in last October; and Smart Vision Light who has been with MAREC for two years. With the addition of Energy Partners, MAREC’s incubator laboratory space is now two-thirds full.
About the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center
Grand Valley’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center in Muskegon is a business incubator offering office and laboratory space to start-up technology companies in the alternative and renewable energy fields. MAREC is a distributed generation energy center which produces energy to heat, cool, light, and power the facility. The center is equipped with a fuel cell that converts natural gas into electricity, photovoltaic roof array to capture the sun's energy, a small demonstration wind turbine, a microturbine and nickel metal hydride battery system to store excess energy. MAREC is one of 11 SmartZones created by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. in 2001 as part of an effort to promote and attract high-technology business development in the state. The facility opened in 2003 and is certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council. MAREC's mission is to be an economic development catalyst — a business accelerator as well as research and development center. MAREC links business, education and government resources with an emphasis is on the development, commercialization and advancement of emerging technology, with particular focus on alternative and renewable energy. For more information visit www.gvsu.edu/marec.