New Michigan Energy + Technology Center to focus on developing Muskegon’s port and B.C. Cobb site | M Live

CHICAGO – The Michigan Energy + Technology Center consortium of companies announced a formal partnership Monday and outlined plans to work on two initial projects including development of Muskegon’s port facilities.

The agreement joining Consumers Energy, Rockford Berge, Michigan State University and other Michigan-based energy-related companies was outlined at the first day of the American Wind Energy Association national conference in Chicago.

METC will begin working on port development in Muskegon by branding the state’s only deep-water port on Lake Michigan “43 Degrees North@Muskegon.” Muskegon’s port will be developed for alternative energy logistics and manufacturing – especially with the wind turbine industry, METC members said.

Jump starting Muskegon port development is Consumers Energy’s commitment to allow METC and its members access to the coal dock facility at the B.C. Cobb Generating Plant on the east end of Muskegon Lake. The Jackson-based public utility’s 1,800-foot dock, which can handle the largest Great Lake freighters, now serves a coal-fired power plant the company plans to “mothball” beginning in 2015.

The other project METC will begin to develop is a “virtual” technology center called METC@MSU. This pilot program brings MSU into the alternative energy consortium for the first time.

MSU faculty will be connected with METC members through the Internet to begin working on research that would include the university’s ongoing work with composite materials, logistics and advanced energy storage, METC members said.

Besides MSU, Consumers and Rockford Berge – a partnership of Grand Rapids-based Rockford Construction Co. and a Spanish global logistics company formed to work on wind energy issues in the region – METC also includes Energetx Composites of Holland, Sand Products Co. of Muskegon and Verplank Dock Co. of Ferrysburg.

Read the whole article from M Live.

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