The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (EIBC) has recognized six companies and two individuals for their contributions to growing Michigan’s clean energy economy. The honorees include General Motors Corporation, Grid Logic, Inc., Invenergy, Navitas Systems, Neuvokas Corp., ZeroBase Energy, Amy Butler of OU INC, and Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell. They were recognized at the Michigan EIBC’s third annual Michigan Energy Innovators Gala November 10 in East Lansing.
“The growth of Michigan’s clean energy sector cannot be overstated,” said Liesl Eichler Clark, president of the Michigan EIBC. “Across the public and private sectors, Michigan is benefitting from investment and leadership by companies and individuals that has helped to grow Michigan’s $7.2 billion clean energy sector. We are pleased to recognize their commitment to our clean energy economy.”
Among the Michigan EIBC’s 2015 honorees are:
Businesses of the Year, Grid Logic, Inc. & Navitas Systems
Based in Auburn Hills and Lapeer, Grid Logic develops new manufacturing technologies, produces customized manufacturing systems, and produces high performance components and advanced materials. The company is dedicated to making manufacturing cleaner, faster, less expensive, and more flexible with processes that bring together product design, materials development, and fabrication technology to speed the introduction of new products and deliver competitive advantage.
Navitas Systems with offices in Ann Arbor, is a leader in integrated design, technology development, and manufacturing of innovative energy-enabled system solutions and energy storage products for commercial, industrial and government agency customers. It was recently awarded a $7.2 million contract to develop second generation (Gen 2) lithium-ion batteries for military vehicles by the United States (U.S.) government. Navitas, which acquired the Government Solutions Group of lithium battery manufacturer A123 Systems in 2012, was the only company selected for development funding of the next generation 6T battery.
Emerging Businesses of the Year, Neuvokas Corporation & ZeroBase Energy
Neuvokas, based in Ahmeek, has developed energy efficient high speed processing of Fiber Reinforced Polymers (FRP) used in reinforcing bars. The company has developed an energy efficient processes that has eliminated a significant amount of the energy required to produce an equivalent FRP product. Its process speeds are more than 10 times faster than its competition while utilizing less energy. Additionally the company has developed plans to co-generate its power needs utilizing the energy generating combustion process to incinerate any process emissions while utilizing waste heat energy to heat its process.
ZeroBase Energy, headquartered in Ferndale, is a leading innovator in clean energy microgrids, hybrid power systems, and energy solutions beyond the grid with a mission to make clean energy and its benefits accessible to everyone, including the billion people without access to reliable sources of power. The company designs, engineers, and manufactures clean energy power systems and microgrids for government agencies and industrial companies seeking resiliency, reduced dependence on fossil fuels, and adoption of cleaner sources of energy. Their primary markets are the U.S. Department of Defense, large-scale solar hybrid systems for commercial operations on Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, and renewable energy mini-grids for rural markets in Africa.
Employer of the Year, General Motors
General Motors has been named Employer of the Year for its collective commitment to clean energy. That commitment is illustrated by its decision to add a second shift at the Hamtramck plant, including the addition of 1200 jobs, to expand demand for the company’s leading models that feature electrification and light-weighting including the Chevrolet Volt, Cadillac ELR, and the Cadillac CT6. Also contributing to the company’s recognition is its expanded partnership with LG Chem for batteries produced at its Holland plant that are used in the Volt; its broader energy and sustainability initiatives including a wind energy power purchase agreement to power its operations in Mexico; the decision to sign on to the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles; its partnership with DTE on an 800kW solar array at its Warren facility; and Top Five ranking by the EPA Green Power Partnership for onsite generation of power from renewable biogas.
Energy Innovators Hall of Fame, Amy Butler of OU INC
Amy Butler is executive director of the OU INC and Clean Energy Research Center at Oakland University (OU) in Rochester, a SmartZone business incubator dedicated to advancing innovation in high technology fields such as alternative energy and energy efficiency. Prior to joining OU, Butler had a distinguished career in Michigan state government, including having served as director of the Bureau of Energy Services in the Department of Labor and Economic Growth and chief of the Environmental Science and Services Division in the Department of Environmental Quality. She also served as senior policy advisor for the National Association of State Energy Offices and chair of the Alternative Energy Advisory Board at Lansing Community College.
President’s Award, Invenergy LLC
Invenergy is innovation in energy. Invenergy develops, owns, and operates power generation and energy storage facilities in North America and Europe with a proven track record in establishing and maintaining longstanding relationships with customers, suppliers, and the communities where their projects are located. They are North America’s largest independent wind power generation company and one of the largest energy storage companies in the world. Among the company’s Michigan holdings are the Gratiot County Wind Farm, a wind farm near Breckenridge and a development office in Sandusky. Invenergy has been publically recognized by the governor as a key piece to the extremely complicated energy puzzle in the Upper Peninsula. It is also developing other wind and solar projects throughout the state and continues to support Michigan’s future energy needs as the state contemplates compliance with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
Public Official of the Year, Mayor George Heartwell
The Honorable George Heartwell is completing his third and final term as Mayor of Grand Rapids where he has established himself as a recognized leader in advanced energy, sustainability, and resiliency efforts. Mayor Heartwell established a 100 percent renewable energy target by 2020 through the widespread implementation of energy conservation measures. Most recently, he has championed the development of a 2030 District in the downtown area, focused on reducing energy use, water consumption, and transportation emissions.
The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (EIBC) is a business trade association representing companies in Michigan’s growing advanced energy sector. Michigan EIBC’s mission is to grow Michigan’s advanced energy economy by fostering opportunities for innovation and business growth and offering a unified voice in creating a business-friendly environment for the advanced energy industry in Michigan.
Contact: Liz Boyd